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Large-scale asthma surveillance in an urban school system: Results from the Oakland Kicks Asthma study

Sheryl Magzamen, MPH, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 140 Warren Hall #7360, Berkeley, CA 94720, (510) 643 4407, magzamen@berkeley.edu, Adam Davis, MPH, MA, American Lung Association of the East Bay, 295 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612, and Ira Tager, MD MPH, Center for Children's Environmental Health Research, University of California, Berkeley, 2150 Shattuck Ave, Suite 600, Berkeley, CA 94720.

A school-based surveillance system for detecting asthma cases was initiated within Oakland, CA as part of a multi-faceted population-based asthma intervention. The goals of the surveillance system are to: 1) determine asthma prevalence estimates for this population, 2) quantify asthma morbidity and severity for this population, 3) identify high-risk cases to be recruited for intensive asthma education and/or case management, 4) identify students with possible undiagnosed asthma to refer for clinical evaluation, and 5) track cohorts of students over time to measure the effectiveness of related asthma interventions. School staff administered 2,100 brief, validated, asthma surveys to 6th grade and 9th grade students in 11 schools. Over 90% of students enrolled in the targeted grades took the survey. Risk factors were identified prior to screening to determine asthma classification. Preliminary results show that 17.7% of students reported a physician diagnosis of asthma. Of those with a physician diagnosis, 89% reported at least one or more symptoms in the past year, 82% reported that they currently use an inhaler, and 23% reported that they have been in the emergency department in the last year. Approximately 8% of students reported one or more asthma-like symptoms, but did not have a physician diagnosis of asthma. Large-scale school-based screening programs can estimate the burden of pediatric asthma in a community, identify children who can benefit from various interventions present in the community, and serve as an evaluation tool for school-based asthma interventions.

Learning Objectives: Through this presentation, participants will be able to

Keywords: Asthma, Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Asthma Epidemiology

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA