Research Impacts - Studies

Landmark Survey Reveals Asthma in Children Remains Significantly Out of Control in the United States

Release Date: 1/1/2004
Children and Asthma in America is a landmark survey of the current state of asthma and asthma management among an estimated 5.8 million children, aged 4-18, with asthma in the United States (National Health Interview Survey, 2002, National Center for Health Statistics.) This is one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of knowledge, attitudes and behavior toward pediatric asthma in America. The national sample of asthma patients was identified by systematically screening a national probability sample of 41,433 U.S. households between late February and early May 2004. Interviews were conducted with the parent or caregiver most knowledgeable about the child with asthma, if the child was aged 4-15. Persons aged 16-18 were interviewed directly about their asthma. A total of 801 interviews were completed with this national probability sample of children with asthma. The interview, which averaged 47 minutes in length, explored asthma prevalence, the frequency and severity of symptoms, utilization of emergency care, quality of life, and quality of care issues.

The size of the national sample of children aged 4-18 with asthma in this survey is equivalent to the largest national heath surveys conducted by the federal government: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1994) and the National Health Interview Survey (2002). These federal health surveys, however, do not explore the burden of disease or asthma management in any detail. Other hospital, school or community based surveys of childhood asthma have examined the burden of disease, quality of life and asthma management issues in more depth, but they do not permit national estimates. The Children and Asthma in America survey is unique in providing a current, in-depth examination of asthma and asthma management among a large, national probability sample of children with asthma.

The 1998 landmark survey of Asthma in America is the nearest equivalent to the current survey in the size of its national probability sample of children with asthma and the depth of its interview. This national survey of 2,500 persons with asthma, included a sub-sample of 660 children, aged 4-18, with asthma. Many of the questions from the 30-minute interview in the 1998 survey were replicated in the current survey. Consequently, the survey of Children and Asthma in America 2004 is truly unique in its ability to chart trends in the disease, its treatment, and patient knowledge and behavior between 1998 and 2004.

Two other unprecedented contributions of the survey of Children and Asthma in America are: (1) a comparison of parent and child reporting of asthma symptoms and experiences, among the 10-15 year olds with asthma in the national sample; and (2) a comparison of health and health related behaviors of children with and without asthma in 13 communities in the United States.

The survey was conducted by the national public opinion research organization, Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas, Inc. (SRBI), who also conducted the 1998 survey of Asthma in America. The survey was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, Inc., a research based pharmaceutical company.

Related Links:
Official Press Release
Children and Asthma in American Executive Summary