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The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is sharing this press release from the office of U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) to bring you the latest news quickly.


Engel, Upton Mark World Asthma Day With Resolution Designating May “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month”

Washington, D.C.—To mark World Asthma Day, Representatives Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) and Fred Upton (MI-6) have introduced a bipartisan House Resolution designating the month of May as “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.”

Asthma remains a critical health issues for millions of people across the United States, and along with allergies, it is one of the leading causes of illness. 19 million adults and 6.2 million kids suffer from asthma, and over 50 million Americans have allergies. In 2016 alone, 3,518 people died from asthma related illness. The statistics are particularly distressing in New York, where asthma rates among children rank higher than the national average. Children in the Bronx also have the highest rates of asthma and asthma related emergency room visits in all of New York City.

“World Asthma Day presents an important opportunity to raise awareness about asthma and allergies, but we should devote even more time and resources to the discussion. That’s why Rep. Upton and I have introduced this resolution,” Rep. Engel said. “Asthma is a serious health problem, especially in parts of Westchester and the Bronx. As such, we must continue to fund initiatives like the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program, which helps 24 states—including New York—and Puerto Rico better monitor, manage and treat asthma. I led a letter earlier this year cosigned by 42 of my House colleagues to appropriators calling for increased funding to the program, and since its formation in 1999, asthma related deaths have dropped significantly. We need to build on that progress, which I believe our resolution will help do today.”

“More than 780,000 adults in Michigan live with asthma, and we continue to see that number increase in our state and across the country every year,” Rep. Upton said. “By raising awareness of asthma and allergies, we hope to advance opportunities for treating those conditions and educating the public about symptoms. We also thank everyone who works to help treat asthma and allergy-related health issues.”

“Asthma remains a serious health condition in the United States, but one that can be managed allowing a person to lead a full, active and healthy life,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The American Lung Association applauds Representatives Engel and Upton for their resolution, and for bringing important attention to Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.”

“Families USA, a co-convener of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, is pleased to support Representative Engel’s and Upton’s resolution recognizing May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Asthma is one of this nation's most pervasive and costly conditions, affecting the health and wellbeing of millions of children in every community across the U.S. Rates of childhood asthma are even higher among children from low-income families and children of color. Despite asthma’s pervasiveness, when families have access to a stable source of care, asthma education services, and affordable medications, it is a manageable disease. This resolution helps to raise awareness of asthma’s impact and reaffirms the commitment of Congress to investing in asthma-related research, coverage, and treatment that can reap benefits that last a lifetime for our nation’s children,” said Lisa Shapiro, Chief of Staff and Director for Children’s Policy, Families USA.

“Despite advances in healthcare the last decade, 12 Americans die every day from asthma and severe allergies. These fatalities can be prevented with continued awareness, education and research about how to best treat and manage these conditions. It’s important that patients and their families know what causes symptoms, what treatments are available, and how to respond to early warning signs of an asthma or allergy emergency. Shared decision making by healthcare providers and patients is integral in arriving at a personalized treatment plan,” said Tonya Winders, President and CEO of the Allergy & Asthma Network.

“Raising America’s awareness of asthma and allergies through Congress’ designation of May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month is more important than ever. May is a symbolic month. It represents springtime, blooming flowers, and more time outdoors. However, for those with asthma and allergies, this can be the most challenging time. Intense pollen, longer growing seasons, and overall poor outdoor air quality are challenges faced by those with asthma and allergies. Increased awareness of asthma and allergies can reduce deaths from Asthma, save billions of dollars in costs to the healthcare system and society and improve lives. That’s why dedicating May to raise awareness is so important. We know that better education, awareness and access to care leads to better health outcomes for our community,” said Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO of The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

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