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CDC: Asthma attack rates declining for children :

February 7, 2018

Rates of asthma attacks among children are declining, but more than half of those with the lung disease had an attack in 2016, according to a new report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging continued prevention efforts in the wake of the new data.

“We are making progress — but healthcare providers, parents, caregivers, and schools can do more to help children avoid asthma attacks,” CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., said in a news release. “Asthma attacks can be terrifying for children and their families. Over the past decade, we’ve identified asthma management actions that work — not alone but in combination. Now we need to scale up these efforts nationwide.”

About 8.3% of U.S. children had asthma in 2016, down from 9.4% in 2010 and 8.7% in 2001, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report. Data from the National Health Interview Survey showed those children were more likely to be male, ages 5-17, non-Hispanic black, of Puerto Rican descent or from a low-income family.

In 2016, about 53.7% of children with asthma experienced an attack, down from 61.7% in 2001. Asthma hospitalizations among this group also declined from 9.6% in 2003 to 4.7% in 2013. While asthma is more common in older children, attacks and hospitalizations were highest among those ages 4 and under.

“This might be partially explained by more frequent viral respiratory infections among this age group,” the report said.

In 2013, about half of children with asthma had an action plan, and a similar percentage were using asthma control prescriptions regularly as prescribed.

The CDC recommends health care providers educate patients about avoiding triggers like tobacco smoke, mold, pet dander and air pollution and teach them to use medications properly.

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