To address asthma in the state, in October 2000, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the American Lung Association of Texas held a joint meeting of asthma professionals from across the state, with a primary purpose of identifying major issues and potential strategies and actions to be taken. These discussions became the basis of the 2001 Texas State Asthma Plan, which has since been adopted to guide state efforts in asthma surveillance, management, education, and advocacy. The primary purpose of this project, which was conducted with and funded by the DSHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been to develop and implement an asthma surveillance program for Texas school-aged children. The program has been implemented with a sample (n = 42,409) of students from the Texas Education Agency's region IV. An important goal has been to determine the feasibility of conducting school-based statewide asthma surveillance and assist with establishing a network for ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of asthma data. This project is expected to become part of a wider asthma surveillance network that will include mortality, hospital discharge, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. It will also provide information not typically captured by surveillance programs, including the BRFSS, which rely heavily upon a previous diagnosis of asthma to determine both lifetime and current prevalence of asthma. Results from this project indicate that such reliance on a previous diagnosis may considerably underestimate the prevalence of disease - particularly in the Latino population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health