Engler Declares May 3 as Asthma Day 2001

May 1, 2001

Governor John Engler has declared May 3 as Asthma Day 2001 in Michigan to increase awareness about the risks of asthma and highlight those who work to reduce the pain and suffering caused by asthma among all Michigan citizens.

"Michigan's response to asthma has been considerable, including the formation of eleven local asthma coalitions and the development of case management and patient education programs to improve patient health and lives," said Engler. "I am pleased to join the Mid-Michigan Asthma Coalition and the American Lung Association of Michigan in recognition of Asthma Day."

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease, and is the number one cause of preventable hospitalization in Michigan children. Asthma causes more school absences than any other chronic childhood disease. In Michigan, 9.8 percent of all adults and 8 percent of children have asthma resulting in 17,850 hospitalizations of Michigan residents each year.

Globally, the economic costs of asthma are estimated to be greater than those of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined and in Michigan alone, asthma treatment costs an estimated $394 million annually. Death rates are still substantial in the United States, with rates doubling since the early 1980s to 5,000 asthma related deaths per year.

"The State of Michigan is pleased to be supporting the Michigan Asthma Strategic Planning Initiative's development of a statewide plan for reducing the mortality and morbidity of asthma," said Michigan Department of Community Health Director James K. Haveman, Jr.

The Global Initiative on Asthma and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes have declared May 3, 2001 to be World Asthma Day, with a theme of "Joining Together Against Asthma."