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CDC 24/7 - Protecting People - Vermont's Success

Understanding the geography of asthma

Boy using asthma inhaler

What is the problem?

Asthma affects about 11% of adults and 10% of children in Vermont. Some areas of the state have higher rates of hospital stays and emergency room visits due to asthma, but the reasons remain unknown. Rutland County has the highest hospital stays rate of all Vermont counties. The Department of Environmental Conservation's air monitoring data show that this county also has the most days per year of air pollution from fine particulate matter.

What did Tracking do?

Differences in hospitalization rates between geographic areas may result from local population characteristics. They also may be caused by local environmental exposures to fine particulate matter and ozone pollution or mold and allergens in older housing. The Vermont Tracking Program will partner with the department of health's CDC-funded Asthma Program to use tracking data to identify trends and patterns in asthma hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Better understanding of asthma triggers could lead to better ways to prevent asthma.

Improved public health

The Vermont Tracking Program plans to use this information to determine the most appropriate public health actions. These actions will lead to fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits due to asthma.