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National Center for Environmental Health - Asthma

National Asthma Control Program
 

Program in Brief

What is the public health problem?

  • In 1999, an estimated 26.7 million people in the United States reported having been diagnosed with asthma. An estimated 10.5 of the 26.7 million reported having had an asthma episode/attack in the previous 12 months.
  • Each year, there are between 400,000 and 500,000 hospitalizations, 14 million missed school days, and 100 million days of restricted activity due to asthma.
  • In 1998, the cost of asthma to the U.S. economy was estimated to be $12.7 billion.

What has CDC accomplished?

Currently, there is no way to prevent the initial onset of asthma, and there is no cure. However, people who have asthma can still lead quality, productive lives if they control their asthma. Asthma can be controlled by following a medical management plan and by avoiding contact with environmental "triggers" such as dust mites, furry pets, and tobacco smoke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created its National Asthma Control Program in 1999 to help reduce the burden of asthma through effective control of the disease. The goals of the program are to reduce the number of deaths, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, school or work days missed, and limitations on activity due to asthma. The program consists of three components:

  • Tracking: continually collecting and analyzing data to understand the "who, what, and where" of asthma and to assess progress toward asthma control goals
  • Interventions: ensuring that sound scientific information is translated into public health practices and programs to reduce the burden of asthma
  • Partnerships: ensuring that all stakeholders have the opportunity to be involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating local asthma control programs

With appropriations of $35.2 million in fiscal year 2002, CDC’s National Asthma Control Program funded the following to be conducted in 2003: 11 asthma tracking projects, 48 asthma interventions, and 33 asthma partnership projects. Through its adolescent and school health program, CDC also funded six urban school districts, one state education agency, and six national nongovernmental organizations to support and address asthma control within a coordinated school health program.

What are the next steps?

CDC will (1) continue to work with state and local health departments and other partners to improve asthma tracking; (2) continue to provide scientific leadership for identifying and tailoring unique, individual solutions for controlling asthma; and (3) assist a greater number of partner organizations in implementing and evaluating programs for reducing the incidence and severity of asthma.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/default.htm

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This page last reviewed September 09, 2004