May is Asthma Awareness Month, designed to bring awareness to a disease that affects more than 25 million Americans, according to a news release from the Department of Health and Human Services.
More than 7 million US children have asthma, and children with asthma missed more than 10 million days of school in 2008. In addition, annual medical expenses related to asthma are estimated at $50 billion.
The HHS announcement detailed four recent asthma-related developments:
- Under the Affordable Care Act, children with asthma cannot be denied health coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition.
- The health care law and Recovery Act invests in expanded capacity for community health centers to care for the most vulnerable Americans, regardless of their ability to pay.
- The CDC works with schools and communities to make indoor and outdoor environments healthier for children with asthma.
- The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program promotes an outreach effort to create written action plans to promote improved asthma care and control.
Go to www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/naepp
for more information from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. The ultimate goal of the program is to enhance the quality of life for patients with asthma and decrease asthma-related morbidity and mortality.