Asthma: Measures and Data
Why is asthma a concern?In Washington State in 2008, an estimated 460,000 adults and 140,000 children had asthma (BRFSS; HYS). More than 5,000 people are hospitalized, and nearly 100 people die every year as a direct result of asthma. In 2005, estimated costs in medical expenditures and lost productivity were more than $400 million.
How is it tracked?The Washington State Department of Health uses the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) to describe prevalence of asthma, and hospitalization data from the Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS) to describe hospitalization rates for asthma. Published data are included in the Health of Washington State report. The dynamic BRFSS-IQ system allows users to query asthma prevalence data by other types of information such as age, other health conditions, or other results from the BRFSS survey.
What is being done?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds the Washington State Asthma Program. Washington State aims to reduce the burden of asthma, especially among at-risk populations, by:
- Promoting quality medical care and improved patient self-management. Provide information, tools, and technical expertise to health care practices to increase the use of national asthma diagnosis and management guidelines in patient care.
- Addressing issues related to air quality. Coordinate communication, policy strategies, and educational services to help people with asthma stay healthy.
- Coordinating a statewide approach to asthma- through working with the Washington Asthma Initiative, a public-private partnership.
- Increasing understanding of asthma-related data- Identify and review existing research and provide routine data updates.