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Home News National Asthma Awareness Month Recognition
Kenny Vigil
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National Asthma Awareness Month Recognition

May 24, 2016 - Asthma - Awareness

In recognition of May as Asthma Awareness Month, the New Mexico Department of Health reminds New Mexicans that asthma is the most common chronic disease among children and is a treatable and manageable chronic disease.

Asthma is a long-term, inflammatory disease in which the airways of the lungs constrict, causing wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

In New Mexico, 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 13 children are currently living with asthma, which is one of the leading causes of pediatric hospitalizations and missed days from school. In 2014, New Mexicans made almost 9,000 visits to non-federal in-state emergency departments for uncontrolled asthma. New Mexico Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs spend an estimated $1.9 million per year on pediatric emergency department visits for asthma. The highest rates of asthma hospitalizations are found in the Southeast region of the state.

“Asthma doesn’t have to slow anyone down or keep them from having an active lifestyle,” said Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher. “It can be controlled and the first step is diagnosis and treatment, including medication.  If you have breathing problems and don’t know the cause or want to make sure you have good control of your asthma contact your healthcare provider.”

The exact cause of asthma is unknown and there is currently no cure. People with asthma need to be aware of environmental factors and other health conditions, such as respiratory infections and allergies that can worsen asthma symptoms. Identifying and avoiding both indoor and outdoor environmental exposures, such as tobacco smoke, pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, cockroaches, and dust mites, is an important part of comprehensive asthma care.

The New Mexico Department of Health Asthma Control Program recommends that every asthma patient have:

  • Planned asthma visits to a health care provider every 1-6 months, depending on severity.
  • An evaluation of asthma severity and level of control to determine the appropriate treatment choices.
  • An Asthma Action Plan which is reviewed and updated at each visit.
  • Asthma self-management education, which should include information about identifying and avoiding environmental triggers of asthma.

The New Mexico Asthma Control Program partners with agencies that provide home visits by Community Health Workers for assessment of  environmental triggers of asthma; training of Community Health Workers in Healthy Homes principles and asthma self-management education, Hospital-based asthma self-management programs; and quality improvement at pediatric practices to improve asthma care.

For more information, please visit the Asthma page.


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Versión en Español

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Reconocimiento Del Mes Nacional de La Concientizacíon Sobre El Asma