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The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health | July 13, 2016

Child Asthma Hospitalizations Drop as CA’s Air Quality Improves

The rate of asthma-related child hospitalizations in California dropped by one-third, from 16 to 11 percent, between 2001-2014, according the most recent data now available on Kidsdata. During the same time period, measurements of air quality also improved: the number of days with ozone levels that exceeded regulatory standards in California dropped by 60 percent, and the levels of Particulate Matter Concentration fell by 23 percent.

Five counties, Napa, Ventura, Imperial, Yuba, and Yolo, all saw drops of more than 50 percent in total asthma-related child hospitalizations.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the U.S. and a leading cause of hospitalizations and absences from school. Environmental factors, including air pollutants, account for an estimated 30 percent of the total childhood asthma burden in California, according to a report by the Public Health Institute.

Children are more vulnerable to pollutants because they breathe more air relative to their size, compared to adults, and thus experience greater proportionate exposure to chemicals. In addition, children are at greater risk of harm from contaminants because their bodies and organs are not fully developed.

According to experts, policies that could influence asthma rates, treatment, and health consequences include ensuring that all children have adequate health care and insurance coverage for prevention and treatment of asthma. Other recommendations call for strengthening and enforcing laws and regulations limiting vehicle emissions, agricultural practices that generate dust and particulates, and industrial practices that generate air pollution.

Related Data (by State and County):

Asthma (summary) Air Quality (summary)

Helpful Links

Air Resources Board: Asthma and Air Pollution, California Environmental Protection Agency

California Breathing, California Dept. of Public Health, Environmental Health Investigations Branch

California Environmental Health Tracking Program: Asthma

Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children, Public Health Institute, California Environmental Health Tracking Program

Paying for Quality Care: Implications for Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Pediatric Asthma, Pediatrics

California County Asthma Profiles, California Breathing

Children’s Environmental Health Network

Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Health Effects of Air Pollution, California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board



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Asthma Hospitalizations, by Age Group
Years: 2001 to 2014

	Asthma Hospitalizations


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