Meredith G. Hennon, MPH and the Supercourse team in Pittsburgh Background Asthma is a chronic lung-disease that inflames and narrows the airways (tubes that bring air into and out of an individuals lungs). Asthma is the most common chronic
disease among children. Symptoms Common symptoms of asthma include: Coughing Wheezing Tightness in the chest Shortness of breath Causes While the exact cause of asthma is not
known, it is thought that a variety of factors interacting with one another, early in life, result in the development of asthma. Causes Parents with asthma Atopy Childhood respiratory infections Exposure to allergens or infections while the immune system is developing
Diagnosis Based on: Medical history Physical examination Test results Asthma Triggers A variety of things can cause asthma symptoms to appear: Allergens
Irritants Food and drinks Medicines Physical activity Upper respiratory infections (viral) Asthma prevalence In the United States: More females than males have asthma. Blacks and American Indian/Alaska natives have higher percentages of asthma than Whites, Hispanics, and Asians.
Asthma prevalence, 2005 Lifetime asthma diagnosis, 2005 Asthma disparities Death from asthma is 3 times more
likely to occur among Blacks than Whites. Among adults, women of all races have higher rates of illness and death from asthma than men. Rates of hospitalization for asthma for Blacks are almost triple those for Whites. Number of asthma deaths per 100,000 population, 2003 Increasing rates
Asthma rates have been increasing in the United States for both adults and children, males and females, and in the different races and ethnicities. It is estimated that the number of people with asthma worldwide will increase by 25% in the next 15 years. Prevalence (%) Child and Adult Asthma Prevalence
Current 4 2 12-Month 0 Year Source: National Health Interview Survey; CDC National Center for Health Statistics Asthma Prevalence by Sex United States, 1980-2007 14
Female 12 Male Lifetime Prevalence (%)
10 8 12-Month 6 Current 4 2 Source: National Health Interview Survey; CDC National Center for Health Statistics 06
20 04 20 02 20 20 00 98 19 96
19 19 94 19 92 19 90 88 19 86
19 19 84 82 19 19 80 0 Year
Prevalence (%) Asthma Prevalence by Race/Ethnicity United States, 1997-2007 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
Black NH Lifetime White NH Hispanic Current Year Source: National Health Interview Survey; National Center for Health Statistics Worldwide Burden of
Asthma 300 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. 255,000 asthma deaths in 2005. ~3,500 in the United States. Over 80% of asthma deaths occur in low and lower-middle income countries. Treatment
While asthma cannot be cured, it can be controlled: Medications Long term Quick relief Bronchial thermoplasty Learning to recognize ones own triggers and taking steps to avoid them. Treatment Medication
Long term Inhaled corticosteroid Leukotriene modifiers Long-acting beta agonists Combination inhalers Treatment Quick relief (rescue) medications Short-acting beta agonists Ipratropium Oral and intravenous corticosteroids Bronchial thermoplasty Recognizing, tracking, and avoiding triggers Review Questions
(Developed by the Supercourse team) What are some of the common asthma triggers? Which age, sex, and/or racial groups see disparities in asthma prevalence rates, as well as hospitalizations and deaths? Describe the process of asthma diagnosis.
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