California Legislature Designates May as Asthma Awareness Month

“In order to increase awareness and understanding about asthma and educate those with the disease, their families, and their communities on the treatments available and the methods of preventing attacks,” the California legislature has designated May 2017 as Asthma Awareness Month.

The resolution wouldn’t have happened without the leadership of Assemblymember and Doctor Joaquin Arambula, who represents part of Fresno and the Central Valley, where the asthma burden is among the highest in the state. We thank him for his support!

Below is the full text of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 68.

WHEREAS, Nearly one in seven Californians have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives, including four million adults and 1.2 million children; and

WHEREAS, Over 3.1 million Californians, including 9.4 percent of children, currently have asthma; and

WHEREAS, Lifetime and current asthma prevalence is highest among children 5 to 17 years of age and up to 40 percent higher than among adults; and

WHEREAS, Asthma prevalence is higher among African Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Puerto Ricans, European Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos; and

WHEREAS, Asthma prevalence is higher in the San Joaquin Valley than in other regions in the state, where six of eight counties have asthma prevalence rates higher than the state average, including three of the five counties with the highest asthma prevalence in the state; and

WHEREAS, Although people of all incomes have similar asthma prevalence, low-income populations, such as the nearly two million Medi-Cal beneficiaries who have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives, have higher asthma severity, poorer asthma control, and higher rates of asthma emergency department visits and hospitalizations; and

WHEREAS, Asthma is responsible for approximately 400 deaths, 30,000 hospitalizations, and 185,000 emergency department visits annually in California; and

WHEREAS, Asthma results in an estimated 11.8 million days of work or usual activities missed per year among adults and 1.2 million days of school or day care missed per year among children; and

WHEREAS, Total charges for asthma hospitalizations in 2010 were over $1 billion, and intervention to prevent repeat hospitalizations could have saved $156 million in these medical costs; and

WHEREAS, Environmental factors such as indoor and outdoor air quality and conditions in homes, schools, and workplaces can both cause the onset of asthma and trigger existing asthma; and

WHEREAS, It is important that every person with asthma be diagnosed, receive appropriate treatment, learn how to manage his or her asthma, and reduce exposure to environmental factors that make his or her asthma worse; and

WHEREAS, Professionals across the state are devoted to providing clinical and preventive care, education and home assessments, and advocacy for healthier air, homes, schools, and workplaces; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the month of May 2017 as Asthma Awareness Month in order to increase awareness and understanding about asthma and educate those with the disease, their families, and their communities on the treatments available and the methods of preventing attacks; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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