asthma in az

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Asthma Data

Asthma in Arizona

  • Asthma is a major chronic disease, affecting the lives of more than 750,000 Arizonans
  • In 2013, 14.6% of Arizona adults reported that they had been formally diagnosed with asthma.  This is 0.3% higher than the national average
  • 8.9% of adults reported that they currently have asthma, up from 8.5% in the year 2000
  • Prevalence may be 30% higher, because many people have never been formally diagnosed
  • 93 Arizonans died from asthma as a first listed diagnosis in 2013
  • 8% of all school children have asthma
  • Although desert communities were once a haven for those with asthma and other breathing difficulties, this is no longer the case

Emergency Department visits for asthma

  • Public funding, including Medicare and Medicaid, paid for at least 55.7% of these ED visits
  • 17% of asthma emergency patients are uninsured.
  • 32,143 Arizonans were admitted to emergency departments for asthma as a first listed diagnosis in 2013, an increase of 13.7% from the prior year.

       Hospital discharges for asthma

  • 6,238 Arizonans were discharged from hospitals for asthma as a first diagnosis in 2013, a drop of 14.2% from the prior year.
  • The average length of stay was 3.2 days, with a mean charge of $25,375 for each patient's hospital discharge
  • 59.3% of the hospital admissions due to asthma were female
  • Asthma-related hospitalizations accounted for more than $262 million in charges   

Source:  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2016 -  http://hcupnet/

Asthma is Common the U.S.

  • 1 in 11 children have asthma
  • 1 in 12 adults have asthma
  • Women are more likely to have asthma than men
  • In children, boys are more likel to have asthma than girls
  • Black children are two times more likely to have asthma than white children
  • 1 in 5 children with asthma went to an emergency department for asthma-related care in 2009
  • Nine people die from asthma every day
  • Asthma is disruptive - 1 in 2 children miss at least one day of school each year and 1 in 3 adults miss at least one day of work annually
  • Asthma is expensive, costing the U.S. $56 billion per year
  • Many patients cannot afford their asthma medication                          


More national data from the Centers for Disease Control can be accessed at:           

Asthma Capitals:  Tucson, Arizona is 75th on the list of the 100 U.S. cities that are the most challenging places to live with asthma, accoring to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America -         

Opportunities for Tackling Asthma

  • Research:  disseminate new knowledge about the pathophysiology of the disease
  • National Guidelines:  implement "best practices" for asthma diagnosis, treatment, case management and patient education
  • Prevention:  reduce asthma attacks and disability days by following guidelines: avoid triggers, maintain clean indoor environments, diagnosis and treat according to current protocols, develop partnership between caregivers and patients, provide education for patient self-care to reduce frequency and severity of asthma
  • Managed Care Quality Improvement:  promote improved asthma management in systems as part of HEDIS certification process 

Get Certified

The NAECB exam is a voluntary testing program used to assess qualified health professionals' knowledge in asthma education.  It is an evaluative process that demonstrates that rigorous education and experience requirements have been met.  Certification is voluntary and is not required by law for employment in the field, although some agencies may use AE-C certification as a basis for employment, job promotions, salary increases or other considerations. -



Arizona Asthma Burden Report

The American Lung Association received funding from the Arizona Department of Health Services to update the Arizona Asthma Burden Report.



Breathing Easier in Arizona 

In 2005, the Coalition published a position paper on current issues about asthma in Arizona.The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness about the seriousness of asthma in Arizona.

Why We Tackle Asthma 

No one should die from asthma. People living with this chronic disease can lead normal, active lives if their asthma is properly managed.