May is Asthma Awareness Month and Cobb and Douglas Public Health (CDPH) has partnered with the American Lung Association (ALA) to celebrate the national awareness campaign.

According to a 2011 survey completed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 18.9 million adults and 7.1 million children have asthma. Asthma is listed as the most common chronic disease among children. There are 3,404 deaths associated with asthma each year and the numbers are increasing; approximately 1 in 12 people (about 25 million) will have asthma, (CDC, 2011). Asthma cost the US about $56 billion in medical costs, school absenteeism, lost work days, and early deaths in 2007.

The purpose of the national asthma awareness campaign is to educate the community about asthma and improve asthma care. CDPH and the American Lung Association will participate by hosting the “Open Airways for Schools,” which is an evaluated asthma education program with demonstrated success in raising awareness and reducing exposure to triggers.

“During Asthma Awareness month each year, I am delighted to work with community partners like the American Lung Association to educate people on asthma management. As a Public Health servant, it’s important to ensure that persons with asthma, in Cobb and Douglas counties, are living healthy and active lives,” stated Anne-Marie Coleman, MPH, CDPH Public Health Educator.

CDPH’s commitment to increase asthma awareness through the Open Airways for Schools education program has resulted in decreased absenteeism due to asthma incidences, improved classroom performances, grade and test scores, increased participation in physical activity, and fewer asthma emergencies. The program also received proclamations from the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and Douglas County Board of Commissioners for recognizing Asthma Awareness Month.

During the month of May, CDPH will present their asthma awareness campaigns at various meetings throughout Cobb and Douglas counties; locations include:

  • May 7 – Town Hall Meeting with Commissioner Lisa Cupid—at the Cobb Safety Village
  • May 14 – Douglas Core Meeting in Douglas County
  • May 14 – Cobb Proclamation at the Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting
  • May 15 at 10:30 a.m. – Douglas Senior Center
  • May 16 at noon – Live Healthy Douglas Meeting, Logans Roadhouse
  • May 18 – Asthma Awareness Table at Mableton Day (CDPH will provide information to Cobb Community members).

For additional information contact Public Health Educator, Anne-Marie Coleman at: 770-319-4708 or [email protected]

Asthma Facts: Asthma is a chronic disease of the air passages that lead to and from the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Risk factors for developing the disease include a genetic predisposition along with exposure to particles and substances that irritate the air passages and cause allergic reactions. However, the basic causes of this disease are not completely understood. There are many triggers that may cause asthma attacks. The best treatment is to control the disease by working closely with a physician, taking medications and avoiding triggers; since, there is no known cure for asthma.

Reference Center for Disease Control. (2011). Asthma. Retrieved April 23, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/asthma.htm
Center for Disease Control. (2011, May). Asthma in the US. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/Asthma/index.html