Friday, February 19, 2010

New Facts about Asthma in South Carolina 2008 from SC DHEC

Newly released facts about asthma in South Carolina 2008 can be found on SC DHEC's website. There is a 2 year delay from the collection of data until it is verified, analyzed, organized, and published. I'll list the highlights.

1. Costs and number of cases of asthma in the U.S. and S.C. have tripled since 1990.
2. Asthma and related conditions was by more than 2x the leading cause of children's hospitalizations.
3. Asthma is more common in boys before age 13 years old.
4. Asthma is more common in women after age 18 years old.
5. About 10% of middle school and high school students have asthma.
6. Non-white children had a 4.6x greater rate of visiting the ED and a 3.4x greater of hospitalization than white children in SC.
7. Medicaid covered 45% of the charges for hospitalizations and ED visits.
8. 70 people died from asthma in S.C. in 2007.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology published a 2010 report titled "Asthma Management and the Allergist: Better Outcomes at Lower Cost."  More than 80% of all resources spent on asthma treatment are used by 20% of patients whose asthma is not controlled.  The outcomes when an allergist provides care results in:
76% fewer emergency care visits
77% fewer hospitalizations and reduced length of hospital stays
45% fewer sick office visits
77% fewer missed days from work or school
increased patient satisfaction and improved quality of life.

My conclusions:

1. Asthma remains a constant problem in the number and types of people affected.
2. Aggressive preventive treatment should be done to reduce the number of emergency room visits, number of hospitalizations, number of deaths, and associated costs related to asthma.
3. Focus your planning on non-white children and those with Medicaid.
4. Continue my detailed care program, which includes regular followup visits, regular use of spirometry, demonstration of inhalers and devices, exercise, dieting & weight loss counseling where necessary, and an asthma action plan for every patient.

Let's all work on providing better care for patients with asthma!!

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