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NACI In the Know: Control Environmental Exposures

Volume 4 | Winter 2010

NACI Breaking News

Take Action with New NACI Action Guide

What does it take to help the one in 12 Americans who has asthma live his or her life to the fullest? It takes continuous, long-term care overseen by a health care provider.

NACI Action Guide

But even if you’re not a health professional, you can help someone—maybe even yourself—who has asthma.

How? Take a look at the new National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI) action guide for tips.

Take Action: Stop Asthma Today! provides specific pointers on how to take six critical steps (a.k.a. the Guidelines Implementation Panel “GIP” messages) to improve asthma care and control, according to your particular connection to asthma. 

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GIP in Focus

Home Is Where the Asthma Triggers Are

Mold in petri dish
Household mold, as seen growing in this petri dish, is a potential asthma trigger.

Home may well be where the heart is, but it's also where an array of potential asthma triggers live, including: various by-products from (and pesticides used to eliminate) dust mites, cockroaches, and rodents; dandruff from pets; moisture that can lead to mold; tobacco smoke; and other things that can cause asthma to flare up.

The good news is that there is heightened awareness of how allergens and irritants in the home environment can trigger asthma symptoms.

“A growing body of evidence shows that reducing exposure to potential asthma triggers in the home is essential to helping manage the disease,” said James Krieger, M.D., M.P.H., Chief, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Section, Public Health - Seattle and King County, Washington.

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Asthma Research into Action

What Do Schools, Children with Asthma, and Parents Who Smoke Have in Common? An NIH-Supported Study in Rochester, NY

Jill S. Halterman, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Division Chief and Director of the Health Services Research Division of General Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is no stranger to the Rochester City (NY) School District's 60 elementary schools and preschools.

Dr. Jill Halterman
Jill S. Halterman, M.D., M.P.H.

Since the early 2000s, Dr. Halterman and several colleagues have been studying whether providing a diverse group of urban children their provider-prescribed daily anti-inflammatory asthma medications in school (through school nurses/aides) helps reduce their symptoms and their risk of asthma attacks.

“We wondered if partnering with schools and having them administer the medications daily would help,” said Dr. Halterman. “We found that it helped only those school children who were not exposed to smoke in the home.”

The number of children exposed to smoke in Rochester’s urban homes is eye-opening.

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Partner Profile

Making the Land of Enchantment a More Magical Place for People in New Mexico Who Have Asthma

New Mexico

New Mexico is home to an average of 16 people per square mile, making it one of the nation’s least populous states. But that doesn’t mean the Land of Enchantment carries any less of an asthma burden than other states. A high unemployment rate, as well as a large number of at-risk communities, creates even greater challenges for asthma experts such as Romelia Rodriguez Walters, AE-C, with Asthma Allies, in Albuquerque, the state’s largest city.

“We have 12 specialists [allergists and immunologists devoted to asthma] in our state, nine of whom are here in Albuquerque, and their waiting lists are just tremendous. We do have pulmonologists; however, a very small number actually do asthma,” said Ms. Rodriguez Walters.

And so Rodriguez Walters and her team began looking at how to better address asthma in their state, and came across the idea of home visits. In late 2009, Asthma Allies had a chance to test that idea, thanks to demonstration-project funding through the National Asthma Control Initiative.

Enter the Home Visit Asthma Management Program (HVAMP) demonstration project.

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Last Updated December 2010