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.
The impact of smoke-free laws on asthma discharges: a multistate analysis.
Am J Public Health. 2014 Feb;104(2):e74-9
Authors: Landers G
OBJECTIVES: This is the first, to my knowledge, multistate, county-level analysis of Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project state inpatient data to examine the relationship between smoke-free laws and asthma discharges.
METHODS: I used treatment and control groups to examine the effects of state and county or city smoke-free laws separately and together (2002-2009). I compared quarterly county-level discharge rates before and after the implementation of 12 state smoke-free laws, accounting for counties with preexisting county or city smoke-free laws and using the data from 5 states without state smoke-free laws as a control group. I used difference-in-differences models, controlling for year and state fixed effects, state cigarette taxes, seasonality, and numerous county-level factors.
RESULTS: I observed statistically significant reductions in asthma discharges after the implementation of county smoke-free laws but no statistically significant effect of state laws besides the effect of county laws or of state laws alone. There was also no statistically significant effect of any smoke-free law on appendicitis discharges.
CONCLUSIONS: It may be unwise to pursue state smoke-free laws where they have yet to pass; rather, efforts might be better focused at the local level, where there is evidence of a significant impact.
PMID: 24328638 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Thinking outside the box: moving the respiratory care profession beyond the hospital walls.
Respir Care. 2013 Aug;58(8):1377-85
Authors: Myers TR
For centuries, hospitals have served as the cornerstone of the United States healthcare system. Just like the majority of the general population, the respiratory care profession was born inside the hospital walls, just over 6 decades ago. While the knowledge, skills, and attributes of the respiratory therapist are critically necessary in acute care settings, the profession must move itself to a stronger position across the entire continuum of care of patients with acute and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases within the next several years to stay ahead of the curve of healthcare reform. In this paper, based on the 28th annual Philip Kittredge Memorial Lecture, I will examine the necessary strategies and values that the profession of respiratory care will need to successfully embrace to "think outside the box" and move the profession beyond the hospital walls for patient- and outcomes-focused, sustainable impact in the future healthcare delivery system.
PMID: 23878303 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Trends in hospitalizations and mortality from asthma in Costa Rica over a 12- to 15-year period.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2014 Jan-Feb;2(1):85-90
Authors: Soto-Martínez M, Avila L, Soto N, Chaves A, Celedón JC, Soto-Quiros ME
BACKGROUND: Little is known about trends in morbidity and/or mortality due to asthma in Latin America.
OBJECTIVE: To examine trends in hospitalizations and mortality due to asthma from 1997-2000 to 2011 in Costa Rica.
METHODS: The rates of hospitalization due to asthma were calculated for each sex in 3 age groups from 1997 to 2011. The number of deaths due to asthma was first calculated for all groups and then for each sex in 3 age groups from 2000 to 2011. All analyses were conducted over the entire period and separately for the periods before and after a National Asthma Program (NAP) in 2003. Data also were available for prescriptions for beclomethasone since 2004. All analyses were conducted by using Epi Info.
RESULTS: Substantial reductions were found in hospitalizations and deaths due to asthma in Costa Ricans (eg, from 25 deaths in 2000 to 5 deaths in 2011). Although, the percentage decrement in the rates of hospitalization for asthma in subjects <20 years old was similar before and after the NAP, the reduction in both deaths due to asthma and rates of asthma hospitalizations in older subjects were more pronounced after the NAP, when prescriptions for beclomethasone were also increased by approximately 129%.
CONCLUSION: In Costa Rica, there was a marked decrement in hospitalizations and mortality due to asthma from 1997-2000 to 2011. In younger subjects, this is likely due to guidelines that, since 1988, recommend inhaled corticosteroids for persistent asthma. In older adults, the NAP probably enhanced reductions in hospitalizations and deaths due to asthma through inhaled corticosteroid use.
PMID: 24565774 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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