DefinitionThe estimated proportion of New Mexico adults with diagnosed asthma.
NumeratorLIFETIME PREVALENCE: Estimated number of adult (i.e., 18 and older) New Mexicans who responded, "yes" (within the survey year) to the BRFSS question: "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have asthma?"
CURRENT PREVALENCE: Estimated number of adult (i.e., 18 and older) New Mexicans who responded, "yes" (within the survey year) to the BRFSS question: "Do you still have asthma?"
DenominatorNumber of adult (i.e., 18 and older) New Mexicans in a specified population who responded to the BRFSS within the survey year.
Data Interpretation IssuesData for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership.
The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters such as military barracks and business owners.
Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [https://ibis.health.state.nm.us/view/docs/Query/BRFSS/BRFSS_fact_sheet_Aug2012.pdf BRFSS Method Change Factsheet].
The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.
Why Is This Important?Asthma is one of the common chronic diseases in New Mexico, with an estimated 156,782 adults currently having the disease. People with asthma are more likely to miss school or work, report feelings of depression, and experience an overall reduced quality of life. Asthma is also costly, with expenses from routine checkups, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and medications putting a significant burden on families, the health care sector, and the economy. Though it cannot be cured, asthma can be controlled through quality health care, appropriate medications, and good self-management skills. When asthma is controlled, people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms, and can live normal and productive lives.Asthma is frequently diagnosed in childhood. Sometimes asthma symptoms may go dormant for a number of years only to return later in adulthood. Given this complexity, two prevalence measures are helpful in assessing the disease burden: Lifetime prevalence (if an individual has ever been diagnosed as having asthma) and Current prevalence (if the individual reports he or she still has asthma).
How Are We Doing?Since 2000, the lifetime and current adult asthma prevalence rates in New Mexico have been increasing.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2017, the New Mexico lifetime adult asthma (i.e., ever had asthma) prevalence rate (15.3%) was slightly higher than the U.S. rate (14.2%), although not significantly higher. During this same time period, the New Mexico current adult asthma (i.e., currently have asthma) prevalence rate (10.5%) was slightly higher than the U.S. rate (9.4%), although not significantly higher.
What Is Being Done?The New Mexico Department of Health Asthma Program collects, analyzes, and disseminates asthma data in order to identify populations that have high burden of asthma. The Asthma Program also works with partners throughout the state (such as hospitals, physician groups, insurance plans, and schools) to design and implement health interventions to lessen the disease burden. Current interventions include providing asthma self-management education to pediatric patients, supporting indoor air quality assessments of homes to limit exposures to potential asthma triggers, and offering provider training on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) asthma medical guidelines.
Evidence-based PracticesAsthma and its symptoms can be controlled and related impairments or hospitalizations can be prevented. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NAEPP of the National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have issued guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. These guidelines translated advances in scientific and clinical research into practical advice for people with asthma, for the health care providers who look after them, and for the communities where they live.
Health Program InformationAsthma Program, New Mexico Department of Health, P.O. Box 26110, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Suite N1300, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Heidi Krapfl, Principal Investigator and Bureau Chief, (505) 476-3577, Heidi.Krapfl@state.nm.us.