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Asthma prevalence and control characteristics by race/ethnicity--United States, 2002.

During 1980-1999, asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality increased among U.S. adults. These annual rates were higher among certain racial/ethnic minority populations than among whites. In addition, racial/ethnic minority populations reported higher use of emergency departments (EDs) and doctors' offices for asthma treatment than whites. To assess asthma prevalence and asthma-control characteristics among racial/ethnic populations, CDC analyzed 2002 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that among the estimated 16 million (7.5%) U.S. adults with asthma, self-reported current asthma prevalence among racial/ethnic minority populations ranged from 3.1% to 14.5%, compared with 7.6% among whites. Comprehensive state-specific asthma surveillance data are necessary to identify disparities in asthma prevalence and asthma-control characteristics among racial/ethnic populations and to develop targeted public health interventions.

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