Reports From the Field: Asthma treatment, medication survey available from AHRQ

More than 6.5 million adults and 3.2 million children have an asthma attack each year, according to data collected in 2000 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

A physician or other health care provider has told more than 25 million Americans that they have asthma, the report says.

The data are from the AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which collects data each year on health care costs, use, and access from a sample of 10,000 households and 24,000 individuals. Here are some statistics:

  • Among people who had an asthma attack, more than half of the adults and more than 40% of children reported using inhaled corticosteroids.
  • Children between the ages of 0 and 17 (91.2%) were more likely than adults (84.3%) to use asthma medication other than inhaled steroids.
  • Nearly a third of the population who reported an asthma attack in the last 12 months reported having a peak flow meter in their home.

More information on the study is available on-line at www.meps.ahrq.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProd_Detail.asp?ID=489.