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"Take Control of Your Asthma", EPA Advises

Release Date: 05/20/2009
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening respiratory disease that affects the quality of life for millions of people; but it can be managed if people know what it is and understand how the environment can affect asthma patients. Although there is no cure for asthma yet, the disease can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to educating all people about asthma, and is engaged in an active public awareness effort throughout May, which is Asthma Awareness Month.

“EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has some areas with the highest asthma rates in the nation,” said George Pavlou, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. “People can control their asthma by knowing the warning signs of an attack, staying away from things that trigger an attack, and following the advice of their healthcare providers.”

Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but adults have asthma, too. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. People who have asthma have it all the time, but will have asthma attacks only when something bothers their lungs. People may find the list of common environmental asthma triggers surprising and find it simple to eliminate them from their environment.

About 23 million people, including 6.8 million children, have asthma. Asthma in children is the cause of seven million physician visits and nearly 200,000 hospitalizations. Thirteen million school days are missed each year due to asthma.

Remember, asthma is not restricted to an age bracket, nationality or gender, but is extremely common in children. African-Americans are three times more likely to die or be hospitalized because of asthma according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of asthma among Puerto Ricans is 125% higher than non-Hispanic white people.

There is no cure for asthma, but there are steps that people can take to reduce its severity.

Asthma sufferers should:

Talk to a doctor
Learn what triggers their asthma attacks
Asthma-proof their homes

Adults and children with asthma can lead healthy, active lives.

For more details on these points and other helpful tips about asthma, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/iaq/asthma and http://www.noattacks.org.

Spanish speakers can also visit: https://www.epa.gov/espanol/saludhispana/asma.htm

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