May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children and the top reason for missed school days. Brittany Guerra, MPH a health program specialist at the Utah Asthma Program stopped by to discuss Asthma in Utah.
Asthma continues to be a burden in Utah:
- 7.1% of Utah children have asthma, which is about 2 children in an average sized classroom.
- 9% of Utah adults have asthma, which is about 1 in 11 adults
- Asthma is less common among those with more education and higher incomes.
- Those who use tobacco, are obese, or report they have depression are more likely to have asthma.
Uncontrolled asthma is a burden for families both financially and in terms of quality of life:
- In Utah, we spend nearly $216 million on asthma care which includes direct costs such as an emergency department visit or hospitalization and indirect costs like missed school and work days.
- Treating children with asthma in an emergency department or hospital is not only costly, but in many cases, preventable.
The Utah Department of Health Asthma Program and partners are working to improve asthma care in Utah. Get involved by joining the Utah Asthma Task Force.