Asthma is a complex disease that is increasing in prevalence in the United States and around the world. Poor, inner-city minorities have disproportionately high rates of mortality from asthma. We still don’t know what causes this disease or how to cure it, but science shows us that asthma can be well controlled.
The public health response to asthma has several components. The first is surveillance, which allows us to quantify how much asthma exists in the population, how severe it is, how well it is being controlled, and how much it costs. Sound data will allow us to make sound decisions when developing asthma programs.