In an effort to raise awareness of the challenges faced by 25 million Americans living with asthma every day, the Mid-Michigan Asthma Coalition (MMAC) and its partners are joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in promoting Asthma Awareness Month and World Asthma Day. The group will host a kick-off event on Thursday, May 1, 2014 from at 10 a.m. at the Sparrow Professional Building, 3rd Floor Atrium, 1200 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing.
Local officials and MMAC partners will discuss Mid-Michigan asthma outcomes, new initiatives related to diagnosis and treatment, approaches to creating cleaner indoor and outdoor air, and ways to get involved in other local asthma awareness events throughout the month of May.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways. Many factors can influence the prevalence of asthma and lead to asthma attacks, including proximity to air pollution from power plants and highways, poor housing conditions, dust and pollen. Asthma attacks can include wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. In the United States alone, an average of one out of every 10 school-aged children have asthma, making it one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood.
Asthma is a leading cause of hospital emergency department visits and school absenteeism. While childhood asthma hospitalizations among Mid-Michigan residents decreased in 2009 and 2010, the rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations in the region is still higher than the state rate. Surveys of middle and high school students in Ingham County show one in seven students currently have asthma. Although asthma symptoms and inflammation can be controlled, there is no cure for asthma at this time.
For more information on EPA's Asthma Program and Asthma Awareness Month, visit www.epa.gov/asthma and www.midmichasthma.org.