Asthma In Arizona
Breathing Easier in Arizona
In 2005, the Arizona Asthma Coalition published a position paper titled, "Breathing Easier in Arizona," The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness about the seriousness of asthma in Ariziona. The Coalition believes that Asthma is preventable and treatable, but we must be proactive in many arenas and make significant changes. Those changes must include improvement in patient care and clinical management, air quality, school and work environments. We hope that this paper will continue to serve as a catalyst to action, improving the lives of people living with 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 managed properly.
Asthma is a chronic, treatable disease that causes narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult at times. More than 22 million people in the United States have asthma, including 6.5 million children under age 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Without appropriate treatment, asthma can significantly limit individuals’ activities and result in asthma exacerbation, which can lead to hospitalization and even death. The CDC estimates that 4,000 Americans die from asthma exacerbation's each year.
Asthma can be treated and managed. People with asthma can live a symptom-free life without limiting activity. Due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of compliance, people living with asthma still do not manage their disease well. Rather, they treat the symptoms, which often lead to complications, greater use of the emergency department, increased hospitalizations and even death.
Asthma is still often misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed and under-treated. Treatment goes beyond medications to controlling factors that worsen asthma symptoms. These risk factors include, but are not limited to, second-hand smoke, greater exposure to allergens and air pollution and poor housing conditions.
Opportunities for tackling asthma include:
- Managed Care Quality Improvement: promote improved asthma management in systems as part of HEDIS certification process.
- Research: Disseminate new knowledge about the pathophysiology of the disease.
- 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.
- Compared to all U.S. residents, Arizonans are disproportionately impacted by asthma. In 2014, 9/6% of adult Arizonans reported having asthma, compared to a national rate of 8.9%. This equates to more than 484,000 Arizona adults with asthma.
- In addition, 10.9% of Arizona youth (17 years and younger) reported having asthma, compared to a national rate of 9.2%. This equates to more than 174,000 Arizona youth with asthma.
- In total, more than 615,000 Arizonans reported having asthma, or 1 in every 11 residents.