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.