Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Pennsylvania's Asthma School Project and Descriptive Pilot Investigation: A Focus on Environmental Health Tracking

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Pennsylvania's Asthma School Project and Descriptive Pilot Investigation: A Focus on Environmental Health Tracking

Article excerpt

* According to CDC, asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood.

* Its prevalence has been increasing.

* Asthma-tracking efforts at the state and local levels have, however, been limited.

* The Pew Environmental Health Commission has designated asthma as a top priority for health outcome tracking in the states.

* The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) initiated the Asthma School Project in 2004.

* The project tracked childhood asthma in Pennsylvania school districts through the existing reporting system.

* Since 1997-1998, school nurses in Pennsylvania have reported

-- a count of the total number of students with asthma,

-- the average daily enrollment, and

-- the calculated rate (percentage) of students with asthma for each school district.

* They identify students with asthma on the basis of family and medical information made available to them.

* The reporting of asthma by school nurses appears to be a reliable data source.

* The project also found that asthma has increased steadily from a low of 6.6 percent during 1997-1998 to a high of 9.2 percent during 2002-2003. …

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