Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and episodic narrowing of the airways. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing.1 The burden of this chronic disease is felt everyday by individuals who suffer from it, whether it's a frightening asthma attack or the struggle to adhere to the treatment plans required to keep it under control. The costs in lost productivity, health care related expenditures, and educational interruption are significant. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled so that people are able to lead active and healthy lives.
*Figures shown are a mix of counts, percentages, rates, and ratios. Click the Objective statement for more information about the corresponding measure.
New Jersey has adopted a broad, multi-disciplinary approach to addressing asthma. The complex nature of this epidemic requires partnerships with State as well as non-governmental organizations. These partnerships have included:
- Department of Health (DOH) Division of Family Health Services; the Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health; Office of Minority and Multicultural Health; Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program; and Center for Health Statistics
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
- New Jersey Department of Education
- New Jersey Department Human Services
- Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey
- Community-based/faith-based organizations
The DOH Asthma Program and the State Asthma Committee partnered to create the New Jersey Asthma Strategic Plan, which serves as a guidance document for state government, health care providers, community organizations, public health advocates, and others in the awareness, management, and treatment of asthma in New Jersey. The DOH actively supported the American Lung Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Thoracic Society in the founding of the Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey (PACNJ) to act as a statewide clearinghouse for pediatric asthma programs and services.
The DOH's comprehensive report describes the effects of asthma on the health of New Jersey residents and surveillance efforts within the state. Surveillance updates are being conducted to help achieve the Healthy New Jersey 2020 goals of reducing asthma hospitalizations and reduced deaths.
For more information, please refer to these resources:
- Asthma. CDC. 12/7/20.