Breathing Easier: The CDC National Asthma Control Program

Breathing Easier: The CDC National Asthma Control Program

May 6 – July 26, 2024

Impacting the health of millions of Americans, asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. In the 1980s and 1990s, improved surveillance showed that asthma prevalence was higher than expected across the nation, prompting a robust federal response. In 1998, a group of CDC staff and federal, state, and other scientists recognized that more needed to be known about asthma if it was to be better controlled. For these professionals, the key to asthma control was surveillance—identifying and tracking asthma cases.

Asthma in your state exhibit wheel

This led to the founding, in 1999, of CDC’s National Asthma Control Program (NACP). Since 1999, NACP’s work has expanded to lead national initiatives to address the public health response to asthma. Through funding to states focused on surveillance, intervention, partnerships, and evaluation, the NACP has provided millions of people with asthma the essential tools for controlling their disease and helped them understand how to improve the quality of their lives through proper asthma management.

Breathing Easier showcases the NACP’s work across the U.S. on the program’s 25th anniversary. Since its founding, CDC and its state and local partners have launched programs that help Americans of all ages learn how to manage their asthma; initiatives to address structural inequities that impact the prevalence of asthma, and surveillance programs to ensure that asthma rates are accurately tracked throughout the U.S.