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Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs. If a person has asthma, the inside of these airways is irritated and swollen. Asthma can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.

Large racial, income, and geographic disparities exist in asthma prevalence. It is one of the leading chronic health conditions among children. Asthma causes lower quality of life, and large direct and indirect economic costs.

In 2007, a CDC study showed that 34 million or 1 in 9 Americans had been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetimes. Of that 34 million, 12.3 million had experienced an asthma attack in the previous year. In 2006, asthma was responsible for 1.6 million emergency department visits, and almost half a million hospitalizations.

Using a standard method for tracking people living with asthma and hospital admissions due to asthma will:

  • allow for the monitoring of trends over time;
  • identify high-risk groups; and
  • inform prevention, evaluation, and program planning efforts.

Data and information for this site are still being developed and added.  We welcome your comments and feedback.

This effort is supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000619-02. The contents of this Website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.