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Uncontrolled Asthma Means Missed Work and School, Emergency Department Visits for Many Californians

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Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Theresa A. Hastert; Susan H. Babey; Ying-Ying Meng; Christina Lombardi

Topic: Health (Diseases and disorders)
Health (Hospitals and other health care facilities)

Keywords: asthma; health insurance; emergency department

Coverage: California


Despite advances in therapy, asthma remains a disease that is not optimally controlled in many Californians. This policy brief examines the economic and social burden of the poor control of asthma and recommends policy changes to reduce those costs.

Using data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the authors found that California's children missed 1.9 million days of school and the state's adult workers missed 2 million days of work due to asthma.

As many as 475,000 children and adults in California reported that they went at least once to the emergency room or urgent care center because of asthma. The number is likely to be much higher due to repeat visits.
The research adds to a growing body of knowledge about the debilitating personal and economic effects of asthma, a condition linked to pollution, lack of insurance and medical care as well as to risk factors such as smoking.


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