Thursday April 17th 2014

Survey reveals growing national impact of asthma

Studies show that more than 12% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with asthma.

An estimated 29.1 million adults (12.7 percent) have been diagnosed with asthma in their lifetimes, and 18.7 million (8.2 percent) still had asthma, according to 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, Asthma’s Impact on the Nation, is the first state-by-state data gathered using the Asthma Call-back Survey, an in-depth survey conducted among people with asthma identified by the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

This is a stark reminder that asthma continues to be major public health concern with a large financial impact on families, the nation, and the health care system, said Christopher J. Portier, PhD, director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

“A key component for adults and children is to create and follow an asthma action plan,” he said. “Significantly, this analysis reveals that more than half of all children and more than two-thirds of all adults with asthma do not have an individualized action plan.”

Asthma’s Impact on the Nation is the first release from CDC’s National Asthma Control Program to describe asthma prevalence, health care utilization, asthma management and education, and mortality trends for the program’s funded grantees in 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Comparing asthma prevalence by age, sex, race, and ethnicity, the CDC found socioeconomic and racial contrasts in asthma occurrence and management in children and adults.

Additional highlights from the report:

• In 2008, children 5 to 7 years old who had one or more asthma attack in the previous 12 months missed 10.5 million days of school. Adults who were currently employed and had one or more asthma attack during the previous 12 months missed 14.2 million days of work due to asthma.

• In 2009, asthma accounted for 3,388 deaths, 479,300 hospitalizations, 1.9 million emergency department visits, and 8.9 million physician office visits.

• The estimated total cost of asthma to society, including medical expenses ($50.1 billion per year), loss of productivity resulting from missed school or work days ($3.8 billion per year), and premature death ($2.1 billion per year), was $56 billion (2009 dollars) in 2007.

To see the full data, go to www.cdc.gov/asthma/impacts_nation/default.htm.

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