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Environmental Health Indicators: Asthma


Completed indicators include asthma inpatient hospitalization, asthma emergency department visits, and chronic lower respiratory disease indicators. Each indicator includes a template and how-to guide. The template describes the rationale for the indicator, and the how-to guide includes step-by-step instructions on how to calculate the indicator. An Excel spreadsheet can be used to compute age-adjusted prevalence rates for the two indicators. A lessons learned summary document describes the process that was followed by the Asthma Workgroup in developing the indicators.

A new initiative of the CSTE/SEHIC Asthma work group is surveillance of pollen and its relationship to respiratory conditions, such as asthma, in the United States. Increased pollen levels contribute to missed work and school days, more asthma emergency department visits, and the use of over-the-counter medication to treat allergic rhinitis. Climate change effects of higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide will result in increased pollen production, especially for more allergenic types of pollen such as ragweed, and longer pollen seasons. Current pollen activities include:
  • A 2012 CSTE Conference poster demonstrating differences in the date when the pollen season started, date it ended and the duration of the pollen season for pollen readings made in Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD and Madison, WI.
  • Pollen data manuscript now in preparation. It will include pollen data for Atlanta, Baltimore, Madison, Michigan and Maine.
Persons who are interested in pollen and asthma surveillance and want to participate in monthly asthma work group conference calls should contact Hayleigh McCall at CSTE. Click here for more details on the Asthma & Allergy Workgroup
Inpatient asthma hospitalizations
Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) and asthma mortality
Asthma emergency department visits
Excel spreadsheet
Lessons learned summary report
Click here to view the air quality indicators or the climate change indicators. Click here to view other environmental health activities.