ANCHOR LEAD: KIDS WITH ASTHMA NEED VERY FREQUENT VISITS TO THEIR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Asthma is an exploding problem, especially among city dwelling children. Gregory Diette, an asthma expert at Johns Hopkins, puts it in perspective.
DIETTE: There’s a lot of asthma. For kids in particular it’s the most common health condition and the number one reason for hospitalization and emergency department visits. :09
Diette is one author of a study looking at asthma in kids who live in the city. The study found that even when their asthma appears to be stable, dangerous and life-threatening flares are common. Diette says the take home message to parents is clear.
DIETTE: Not to wait any longer than three months to go back for a visit even if the child seems like they’re doing quite well. This is for kids who live in the city. And I think they should know to be vigilant about control. If the asthma is not under good control then that’s a reason to get more intensive treatment and to look at the environment and see if there’s things that need to be fixed in the environment. :18
Environmental contaminants that cause asthma to worsen include cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, and allergens associated with mice and cockroaches. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.