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A breath of fresh air: Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition launches
Date:8/29/2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) announced the launch of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, a multi-sector group of advocates and experts dedicated to raising awareness and advancing public policies to improve the health of children who suffer from asthma.

Asthma is the single most common chronic condition among children. Approximately 7.1 million children suffer from asthma, a number that has been rising over the past decade. SPHHS and its partners the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN), the nation's only organization focused solely on childhood asthma; and First Focus, a bipartisan children's advocacy organization have established the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition to address this growing public health challenge, which disproportionately affects low-income and minority children.

"In some communities, an estimated 40 percent of all children are living with asthma," said Katie Horton, R.N., M.P.H., J.D., a lead investigator on the project and a research professor within SPHHS's Department of Health Policy. "Using findings from evidence-based research, the Coalition hopes to identify real-world solutions to curtail the rising rates of asthma and help keep kids with asthma healthy."

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways of the lungs and causes wheezing and breathing difficulties. Certain factors that trigger asthma, such as genetic predisposition or a history of allergies, may not be amenable to change. But key risk factors that may cause or exacerbate asthma symptoms such as exposure to tobacco smoke, allergens and irritants found in indoor environments, and outdoor air pollutants can be addressed through policy interventions in homes, schools and other places where children live, learn and play.

Since reducing the burden of asthma on children and families requires a multi-pronged approach to address many underly
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Contact: Kathy Fackelmann
kfackelmann@gwu.edu
202-994-8354
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert

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