Asthma Resources for Healthcare Providers

What is asthma?

  • Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and bronchoconstriction in the airways. 
  • This results in coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. 
  • Patients can live a normal life if adequate asthma control is maintained.

What triggers asthma?

  • Respiratory infections 
  • Environmental allergens such as dust mites, cockroaches, mold, and pet dander 
  • Smoke or sudden temperature changes 
  • Strong emotions like laughter or crying 
  • Intense exercise 

Can asthma be cured?

  • Asthma is a chronic condition. 
  • While it cannot be cured, it can be well controlled with proper treatment and often improves with time.

Asthma in the Hispanic Population

  • 6.4% of Hispanic people have asthma
  • Puerto Ricans have twice the asthma rate when compared with the overall Hispanic population
  • Hispanics are twice as likely to visit the emergency department for asthma than non-Hispanic whites
  • Hispanic children are 40% more likely to die from asthma compared to non-Hispanic whites

Structural Barriers to Care

  • Latinos who prefer to communicate in Spanish received fewer asthma diagnoses in community health centers in the United States compared to Latino patients who prefer to communicate in English 
  • Latinos received a diagnosis of asthma less frequently the first day they presented with symptoms compared to white non-Latino patients 

More than 1 in 10 Americans have had asthma at some point of their lives, leading to over 2 million trips to the emergency room every year. In cases like these, for example, Latino children have a 40% higher risk of dying from asthma compared to non-Hispanic white children.

Every day, due to asthma:

  • 30,000 people have an asthma attack
  • 5,000 people visit the emergency room
  • 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital
  • 11 people die