National Developments in the Prevention of Asthma

Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie

The prevention of asthma symptoms is critical to patients and their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other agencies have unveiled new developments in the treatment and management of asthma. These agencies have found that the control and prevention of asthma flare-ups is as simple as knowing and recognizing and managing asthma signs and symptoms.

Health agencies have found that activities relating to asthma control must extend beyond the doctor’s office and into public health outreach efforts. According to a May 2012 CDC Asthma Fact Sheet, children across the U.S. who have asthma missed more than 10 million days of school in 2008 because of the disease. The medical costs associated with the asthma are estimated at $50 billion per year.

Programs to Help with Asthma Management

In light of this information, the CDC has extended its outreach efforts into communities and schools to help create healthy living and learning environments through its National Asthma Control Program (NACP). The NAEPP has focused its outreach efforts on promoting the creation of Asthma Action Plans, particularly in vulnerable communities. These plans help patients and their families keep track of asthma signs and symptoms and medications, as well as create a plan for avoiding triggers and effectively dealing with asthma emergencies. Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act will help provide health care coverage to asthmatic children who would otherwise be denied coverage because of their condition.

The efforts of targeted outreach programs that focus on the prevention of asthma symptoms have already resulted in successes. For example, the NACP has helped reduce the amount of asthma-related emergency room visits by up to 39 percent; encouraged the creation of laws that require asthma education in schools; helped reduce health care burdens; and provided asthma-related services in areas that never had them in the past.

While there is no cure for asthma, the prevention of asthma symptoms is possible. The latest developments and outreach efforts not only help patients, but also support doctors who wish to provide more resources to asthma sufferers and their families.

[Photo by: CNSC&VB, via CC License]


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