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New Study Finds Keys to Success for Asthma Programs

Release Date: 05/02/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / Contacto en español: Lina Younes, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington D.C. – May 2, 2006) Asthma programs that address environmental triggers work best when closely connected to front-line health care providers and local communities, according to an international study of over 400 asthma programs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded the $700,000, three-year study completed by the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

"Enjoying its cleanest air in over three decades, America is breathing easier because of President Bush's commitment to improving our air quality," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "As we increase global awareness of asthma this World Asthma Day, EPA is helping protect lungs and improve lives both at home and abroad."

The study, called the Asthma Health Outcomes Project, found that the asthma programs used a variety of approaches, such as educating health care providers or intensive home visits with follow-up support to families, to address environmental triggers that make asthma worse. The programs work to improve health outcomes, such as reduced emergency room visits, improved quality of life, and fewer missed days of school or work.

"As the number of children and adults with asthma in the United States reaches epidemic proportions, communities are clamoring for programs that help people manage asthma successfully, including ways to reduce exposure to triggers in the environment. The implications of these findings are significant for the field of asthma as they can shape how future programs are designed and implemented worldwide," said Dr. Noreen M. Clark, AHOP Study Director, the Marshall H. Becker Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (UMSPH), and a leading national expert on asthma.

EPA will host the first National Asthma Forum in Washington, D.C., on May 22-23 to discuss the findings of the study and successful programs to serve as models for other community programs. During the forum, a facilitated workshop will provide tools and resources to help participating communities achieve better health outcomes for the individuals they serve.

The release of the study coincides with Asthma Awareness Month. Asthma persists as the most common serious chronic disease in children. EPA's Asthma Initiative includes research, education and outreach to identify the environmental factors that cause asthma and asthma symptoms. The initiative also promotes effective measures to reduce exposure to these factors.

Information on asthma and EPA's Asthma Initiative and the report:

Hispanic environmental health page on asthma: