Uninsured children are 60% more likely to die in the hospital than insured children regardless of medical condition, according to a large-scale study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Lack of health insurance may have contributed to nearly 17,000 deaths among hospitalized children nationwide in the past 20 years, they concluded.
Researchers compared health insurance coverage and risk of death in children using 23 million hospital records from 37 states between 1988 and 2005. Although they could not make a direct link between health insurance and risk of dying, they said they did find a powerful connection between the two. Insurance status did not affect how long a child remained hospitalized, they said in the study, published in the Journal of Public Health.