The Woodland Hills-based California Endowment, in partnership with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Department of Health Services, has released the first report to come out of the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the largest state health survey in the U.S. The report's findings on the prevalence of asthma in the state show that nearly three million Californians suffer from asthma symptoms. In conjunction with the report's release, the Endowment also has announced a three-year, $12 million statewide initiative to improve the environments where children with asthma live.
According to the survey, roughly 667,000 of the three million Californians who suffer from asthma symptoms are children between the ages of six and seventeen. The findings also indicate that asthma disproportionately affects school-aged children and young adults, and that lifetime asthma prevalence is high among the school-aged population compared to other age groups. Through its Community Action to Fight Asthma initiative, the Endowment has awarded twelve grants of $450,000 each to organizations throughout the state to form or expand a coalition of local partnerships that bring together concerned parents, community leaders, and organizations from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to reduce asthma triggers in places where children live, learn, and play.
"The CHIS 2001 findings provide us with a clear picture that asthma is an enormous issue for Californians across the state, especially school-aged children," said Endwoment president and CEO Robert K. Ross, M.D. "Since asthma is a chronic illness that often begins in childhood, our first line of defense against this disease is to improve the quality of life for these children with asthma."