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CDC's Asthma Call-back Survey

CDC recently released data from the in-depth Asthma Call-back Survey, finding that approximately one-half of adults with asthma reported one or more asthma attacks, and only about one in four had an Asthma Management Plan.

Chart: States with Fewest Activity Limitations among Adults with Asthma. Connecticut: 49.1%; Massachusetts: 51.0%; District of Columbia: 52.8%; Oregon: 57.0%; Illinois: 57.1%.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released data from the in-depth Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS). In the 35 areas (34 states and the District of Columbia) participating in 2008, approximately one-half of adults with current asthma reported one or more asthma attacks; six in ten reported activity limitations due to asthma; and only about one in four had an Asthma Management Plan (also called an Asthma Action Plan).

The ACBS includes questions about individual's control of their asthma, environmental triggers of asthma, and aspects of asthma education. Information is used for planning and evaluation of asthma programs. These programs promote key strategies identified in the national guidelines for treating asthma.

Developed and funded by CDC's National Asthma Control Program (NACP) in the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch (APRHB) of the National Center for Environment Health (NCEH), the survey is conducted with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) respondents who report an asthma diagnosis. BRFSS is the world's largest ongoing telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States for over 25 years.

Asthma attacks, sometimes called episodes, are periods of worsening asthma symptoms that may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. In the 35 areas participating in the 2008 survey, 49.9% of adults with current asthma reported one or more asthma attacks in the past year. Among the 35 areas surveyed, the percentage of persons with current asthma reporting an attack ranged from a low of 40.9% to a high of 61.8%.

Activity limitation is one of several measures of asthma burden in the ACBS data. Among adults with current asthma in 2008, 60.2% reported activity limitation due to asthma. Among adults with current asthma, the percentage reporting activity limitation due to asthma ranged from 49.1% in one area to 75.1% in another.

The asthma treatment guidelines recommend that every person with asthma have an individualized Asthma Management Plan to help them control their disease. Results from the ACBS indicate that in the 35 areas participating in the 2008 survey, 26.6% of respondents with current asthma reported ever having received an Asthma Management Plan. Among individual areas, the proportion of those with current asthma reporting an Asthma Management Plan varied from a low of 16.1% to a high of 36.7%.

The ACBS was piloted in three states in 2005 and participation has increased each year. Data was recently released for 2006, 2007, and 2008. Data are also available for children, but fewer states include children in the survey. CDC's NACP believes that these detailed data are critical for asthma surveillance and program evaluation activities.

Map: Estimated Adults with Current or Active Asthma Status Receiving an Asthma Management Plan by State/Territory, 2008

Map: Estimated Activity Limitations Among Adults with Current or Active Asthma Status by State, 2008

More Information

  • Page last reviewed: April 26, 2011
  • Page last updated: April 26, 2011
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
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