Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. During an asthma attack, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swells. Asthma symptoms can be triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances, such as pollen and dust.
THE ASTHMA EPIDEMIC
Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the world. The prevalence of asthma has grown in recent decades, and there is no cure. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 25.9 million Americans have asthma, and managing asthma consumes over $18 billion of healthcare resources annually. In the U.S. each year, asthma attacks result in approximately 10 million outpatient visits, 2 million emergency rooms visits, 500,000 hospitalizations, and 4,000 deaths.
• Asthma affects 25.9 million Americans (1 in 15)
• Every day in America:
o 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma
o 30,000 people have an asthma attack
o 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma
o 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma
o 11 people die from asthma
o $18 billion is how much asthma costs US taxpayers annually
Approximately 250,000 people die prematurely, each year, from asthma. Almost all of these deaths are avoidable.
Approximately 25.9 million Americans (including 7.1 million children) had asthma in 2011; a rate of 84.8 per 1,000 population.
In 2008, the condition accounted for an estimated 14.4 million lost school days in children and 14.2 million lost work days in adults. Asthma is a leading cause of activity limitation and costs our nation $56.0 billion in health care costs annually.
Ten (10) to fifteen (15) percent of those suffering from asthma in the U.S. are diagnosed with severe persistent asthma, and may be candidates for surgical intervention
· According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease.
· It is estimated that the number of people with asthma will grow by more than 100 million persons to over 400 million patients by 2025.