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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Nearly Six Million Californians Suffer from Asthma Symptoms or Asthma-like Breathing Problems


In California, 2.8 million children and adults (900,000 children and 1.9 million adults) suffer from active asthma. One out of six of these Californians (16%) lives below the poverty level.1 Low-income adults and children with active asthma disproportionately bear the burden of asthma. They experience more frequent symptoms, go to the emergency department (ED) more often for asthma care, miss more school and have poorer health status. They also are more likely to lack access to health care and to live in conditions associated with asthma exacerbations. Using data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2003), this policy brief examines the burden of asthma among low-income asthma sufferers as well as some opportunities to reduce the burden for these asthma sufferers. Active asthma refers to people who have been diagnosed with asthma and who reported they still have asthma and/or experienced an asthma attack in the past year

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