Asthma continues to be one of the most prevalent chronic lung diseases and growing health concerns in the state of Texas. Asthma, a potentially deadly illness, affects the lungs and causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen, and surrounding muscles to tighten. Symptoms include episodes of coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.
According to the Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2005, an estimated 1.5 million (6.8 percent) adult Texans and 458 thousand (7.3 percent) children 0-17 years of age currently report having asthma. Also, an estimated 2.5 million (11.1 percent) adult Texans and 728 thousand (11.6 percent) children report having had asthma during their lifetime.
In addition, asthma has had a significant economic impact on the state of Texas. According to the Texas Health Care Information Collection in 2004, hospital discharges listing asthma as the principle diagnosis and other diagnoses account for about $353 million in total charges.
The Texas Asthma Plan serves as a planning tool to initiate asthma activities in the state of Texas. The 2007-2010 Edition contains issue items with updated goals and action steps specific to regional areas throughout Texas.
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Policy and system change and community coalitions: outcomes from allies against asthma.
Health Educ Behav. 2014 Oct;41(5):528-38
Authors: Clark NM, Lachance L, Doctor LJ, Gilmore L, Kelly C, Krieger J, Lara M, Meurer J, Milanovich AF, Nicholas E, Rosenthal M, Stoll SC, Wilkin M
Objectives. We assessed policy and system changes and health outcomes produced by the Allies Against Asthma program, a 5-year collaborative effort by 7 community coalitions to address childhood asthma. We also explored associations between community engagement and outcomes. Methods. We interviewed a sample of 1,477 parents of children with asthma in coalition target areas and comparison areas at baseline and 1 year to assess quality-of-life and symptom changes. An extensive tracking and documentation procedure and a survey of 284 participating individuals and organizations were used to ascertain policy and system changes and community engagement levels. Results. A total of 89 policy and system changes were achieved, ranging from changes in interinstitutional and intrainstitutional practices to statewide legislation. Allies children experienced fewer daytime (P = .008) and nighttime (P = .004) asthma symptoms than comparison children. In addition, Allies parents felt less helpless, frightened, and angry (P = .01) about their child's asthma. Type of community engagement was associated with number of policy and system changes. Conclusions. Community coalitions can successfully achieve asthma policy and system changes and improve health outcomes. Increased core and ongoing community stakeholder participation rather than a higher overall number of participants was associated with more change.
PMID: 25270178 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Review: higher vitamin D status and supplementation may be associated with risks.
Eur J Dermatol. 2014 Jul-Aug;24(4):428-34
Authors: Korgavkar K, Xiong M, Weinstock MA
The prevalence of low vitamin D levels and associated risks has led to an increase in supplementation. However, a "U-shaped" relationship has been suggested between vitamin D status and adverse effects, with risks observed both in low and high levels. While risks associated with low levels of vitamin D have been extensively studied, the risks of higher levels of vitamin D have not been as widely circulated. We sought to describe key observed adverse risks with vitamin D supplementation and higher serum 25(OH)-D levels in healthy adult populations.
PMID: 24721746 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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