Asthma is one of the most common health problems occurring in both children and adults. It is estimated that 18.9 million adults and 7.1 million children in the U.S. have asthma.


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Asthma is one of the most common health problems occurring in both children and adults. It is estimated that 18.9 million adults and 7.1 million children in the United States currently have asthma. In Indiana, approximately 650,000 people are affected. That’s 9.1% of adults and 9.5% of children in Indiana. Recent community health research conducted by Franciscan St. Francis Health ranks Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties among the worst in the state of Indiana for issues related to asthma, such as emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

womens lung healthKey Facts About Indiana Adults and Asthma:

  • Each year adults as a result of asthma miss over 4 million days of work or routine daily activities.
  • Approximately 1 in 11 (9.1%) adults, age 18 and older, are currently diagnosed with asthma.
  • Adult females are more likely than males to have asthma. Approximately 11.1% of women and 6.9 of men are impacted by asthma.
  • White adults (8.7%) are less likely to have asthma than black (13.7%) or multiracial/non-Hispanic adults (16.3)

Key Facts About Indiana Children and Asthma:

  • Approximately 1 in 10 (9.5%) children, ages 0-17, are currently diagnosed with asthma.
  • The highest prevalence of asthma is in children ages 5-9 with 12.3% impacted. Second highest is among children 10-14 with 11.9% impacted.
  • Female children (11.2%) have a higher prevalence than male children (6.1%).
  • Black children (21.8%) have a higher incidence than white children (7.6%) or Hispanic children (9.7%).

Understanding Asthma

Asthma is a chronic, or life long, disease affecting the airways that carry air to and from the lungs. It can be serious—even life threatening. There is no cure for asthma. The good news is that it can be managed so you can live a normal, healthy life. There are three key things you need to know about asthma:

  1. Asthma is chronic. In other words, you live with it every day.
  2. It can be serious – even life threatening.
  3. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed so you live a normal, healthy life.

Managing Asthma and it's triggers

The more you can learn about asthma, the better you and your loved ones can manage living with this disease, making the most of every day, and maintaining the quality of life that is important to you. An asthma action plan coupled with proper education is critical to managing the disease.

womens lung health factsIn Indiana, 72.8% of adults and 73% of children feel their asthma is very poorly or not well controlled. And, only 8.8% of adults and 18.3% of children claim their health care provider has given them an asthma action plan.

Asthma produces chest tightness, wheezing, cough and shortness of breath with activities and various triggers. It can drastically impact quality of life. Asthma is a serious condition that requires medical management, and if not well controlled, can lead to frequent emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

Taking Control of Asthma
Create An Asthma Action Plan
Creating Asthma-Friendly Environments
Reduce Asthma Triggers

Controlling and Treating Asthma

Taking an active role to control your asthma is important and requires you work with closely with your doctor and involves:

  • Working with your doctor to treat other conditions that can interfere with asthma management.
  • Avoiding things that worsen your asthma (asthma triggers).
  • Working with your doctor to create and follow an asthma action plan.

The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease by:

  • Preventing chronic and troublesome symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath
  • Reducing your need for quick-relief medicines
  • Letting you maintain your normal activity level and sleep well
  • Preventing asthma attacks that could result in an emergency room visit or hospital stay.

With asthma treatment, one size does not fit all. Some treatments are used for long-term control; others treat an asthma attack to give immediate relief.

Learn more about asthma treatment and medications

Bronchial Thermoplasty: New Treatment for Severe Adult Asthma

Franciscan St. Francis Health – Indianapolis offers Bronchial Thermoplasty, a safe, non-drug, outpatient bronchoscopy procedure to treat adult patients with severe asthma. If your asthma is not well controlled with medications, Bronchial Thermoplasty may be an option for you.

Once you have been diagnosed with asthma, it is important that you work closely with a physician to manage your disease. If a physician does not currently manage your asthma, or if you would like a second opinion regarding your asthma action plan, contact a Franciscan St. Francis Health provider.
Listing of Franciscan St. Francis Health Family Medicine Physicians
Listing of Franciscan St. Francis Health Pulmonologists
Franciscan St. Francis Health asthma program and services

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