Maryland Asthma Control Program
Burden of Asthma: Asthma is a significant public health problem in Maryland. In 2006, approximately 9.0 % of adults and children (0-17 years) had asthma. This translates to 500,000 Marylanders including 125,000 children. The asthma hospitalization rate was 17.2 per 10,000 population in 2006. Children less than five years old have the highest hospitalization rates as compared to other age groups. Adult women in Maryland had a 2.3 times higher hospitalization rate than adult men. Hospitalizations for African Americans were nearly three times that of Whites. Persons at increased risk for asthma and its complications include the very young, the elderly, African Americans, and individuals in Baltimore City.
Accomplishments to Date: Maryland is one of a limited number of states to codify a statewide asthma control program. The Maryland Asthma Control Program (MACP) has implemented the statute’s requirements to develop an asthma surveillance system, develop a statewide asthma plan and implement interventions in collaboration with the Maryland Asthma Coalition and under the guidance of the MACP. MACP has revised the statewide asthma plan to provide a comprehensive framework for local and statewide action to address asthma - offering a unified vision and direction for asthma activities in Maryland from 2010 through 2015.
Areas of Unmet Needs: Racial disparities in hospitalizations, ED visits and mortality due to asthma are some of the most significant challenges facing MACP. The MACP must also address the needs of persons with asthma by increasing educational opportunities to receive asthma self-management skills.
Goals, Objectives, and Activities: Over the next five-year period, MACP plans to (1) Develop, expand and sustain a comprehensive public health infrastructure to reduce the burden of asthma in Maryland, (2) Implement an asthma-surveillance system to assess the burden of asthma, identify disparate populations, and to inform program priorities and evaluation activities, (3) Reduce asthma disparities among populations that are disproportionately affected by asthma as compared to the general population with asthma; (4) Reduce exposure to environmental triggers that could lead to or exacerbate asthma; and (5) Improve the system of care for persons with asthma through assuring asthma awareness and education; and high quality, clinical and self-management services. Objectives include reducing hospitalizations, increasing the number of persons with asthma who report receiving self-management skills, and developing new partnerships with community-based groups. Major activities will include educating child-care providers about asthma triggers and healthy environments, offering asthma education services to families in at risk communities, and expanding provider knowledge regarding the NIH-NHLBI Guidelines and Guideline Implementation Report.