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Contact Region 9

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Children and Asthma: Arizona

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There are approximately 1.4 million children in Arizona (2000 census), comprising about 27% of the state's total population. Non-Hispanic Whites are the largest racial group (65.7%) followed by Hispanic or Latino of any race (36.7%), American Indian/Alaska Native (7.4%), non-Hispanic Black (3.7%), and Asian (1.5%). Over 170,000, about 18%, of children in Arizona live below the national poverty level.

Currently, asthma prevalence data in children are not available in Arizona. However, Arizona recently began collecting hospital discharge data. In 2000, about 39% of asthma discharges were ages 14 or younger; in 2001 this measure decreased slightly to 35%. Data source: Arizona Department of Health Services: Office of Environmental HealthExiting EPA (disclaimer)

Asthma research and interventions

Inner City Asthma Study
Tucson, Arizona is one of seven sites in a national study involving children ages 5 to 12 who are allergic to at least one home allergen and who have moderate to severe asthma. Researchers are evaluating the benefits of several types of interventions: environmental changes in the home, guided medical treatment by a physician, or both. Study participants are monitored after the interventions stop to see if they are able to maintain them on their own.

Open Airways for Schools
Open Airways for Schools was developed by the American Lung Association (ALA) and helps children ages 8-11 take the steps necessary to help prevent asthma episodes, such as recognizing asthma symptoms when they occur and carrying out the appropriate management steps. Open Airways consists of six 40-minute group lessons for children held during the day, with take home assignments. School participation in Open Airways varies by state; contact the local ALA chapter for more information.

Phoenix Children's Hospital Breathmobile
The Breathmobile is a self-contained mobile asthma clinic that will provide asthma identification, teaching and treatment services to children in inner-city Phoenix schools. This program is modeled after a program at University of Southern California and Los Angeles Children's Hospital, which has three Breathmobiles that service about 60 schools in the Los Angeles area.

Tucson Child Respiratory Study
Initiated in 1980, the Tucson Child Respiratory Study has followed 1246 subjects and their families from birth to investigate the relationship between a number of risk factors and acute lower respiratory tract illnesses and chronic lung disorders such as asthma. Some environmental risk factors, such as exposure to mold early in life, have been identified. This is an ongoing study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

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Additional Resources

Arizona Asthma Coalition
Description of some of the activities and accomplishments of the Coalition and contact information. General information for parents.

Arizona/New Mexico American Lung Association (ALA)
The ALA has Northern and Southern Arizona branches. This Web site contains descriptions and links for local programs such as Open Airways for Schools and Camp Not-a-Wheeze as well as air quality information, research updates, and publications.

Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) Asthma Control Program
Arizona's Asthma Control Program focuses on development of a statewide surveillance system and collaborating with Arizona's asthma coalitions. Contact information is available.

Arizona Respiratory Center (University of Arizona)
The ARC performs clinical, teaching, and research functions. The five primary research areas are asthma, genetics, epidemiology, immunology and sleep. Descriptions of research projects, information about faculty members, and professional education resources are all available online.

Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network
Founded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute an 1999, CARE was established to evaluate treatments for children with asthma. The Arizona Respiratory Center is 1 of 5 clinical care centers nationwide conducting clinical trials of asthma treatments. Details about the trials and contact information for the investigators is available.

School Nurse Asthma Project (SNAP)
SNAP aims to provide updates of best practices of asthma management in school children, provide educational materials for school nurses, and provide linkages to community resources for school nurses. A self instructional unit, a resource directory, forms and handouts are available online.

Arizona School Nurses Association
Resources for school nurses on a variety of topics.

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