Preventing Asthma – Respiratory System Example

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"Preventing Asthma" is a remarkable example of a paper on the respiratory system. Chronic disease is an illness that persists over a long period, which does not resolve spontaneously and may be asymptomatic until triggered. These diseases require a long-term and systematic approach for treatment as they are complex, varying in nature, cause, and the extent of their impact on the community. Common features of chronic diseases include; long incubation period, a prolonged course of illness, and association with functional impairment or disability (WHO, n.d. ). The effects of chronic diseases become widespread much earlier and can be felt as strain to a county’ s economic development, which affects the low and middle-income countries because chronic disease creates a double burden besides infectious diseases.

Increased prevalence of chronic diseases is seen as an underlying cause of poverty, which hinders development in most countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, n.d. ), approximately 16 million deaths occur each year in people under the age of 70, which the working and income-generating class. This nullifies the notion that only the aged are affected. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by reversible obstruction of the airway, which is triggered by a wide range of environmental stimuli, with the most prominent being aeroallergens and viruses.

Asthma can be described as a complex disease process in which there are poor interactions between the environment and the genetic factors of the patient (Holt et al, 2005). Presently, there is no known cure for asthma, but its symptoms can be controlled with medical treatment and by avoiding exposure allergens that may trigger an attack. An individual can also prevent or control asthmatic attacks by understanding underlying risk factors, which may be unique to one.

The risk factors involve family history, in which asthma can be inherited via the genetic makeup. With a family history of asthma, the probability of an offspring developing chronic disease is increased. In addition, persons having atopy, an allergic hypersensitivity, are more prone to develop airway hyperreactivity due to the close association of allergies and asthma. Environmental conditions such as air pollution present a unique risk factor, as pollution contributes to asthmatic triggers. These pollutants cause shortness of breath, chest pains, and provide all conditions necessary for an asthmatic attack.

The pollutants such as smoke, sulfur dioxide, mold, noxious fumes may irritate the airways and constrict the air passages, and thus asthmatic attack (Bhargava, 2012). According to the national health statistic report, asthma prevalence was 8.2% of the U. S. population in 2009 (Akinbami et al, 2011). However, asthma surveillance data indicate an increase in the prevalence of chronic illness. Per the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), trends in Asthma prevalence are illustrated to be on the rise from 7.3% in 2001 to 8.4% in 2010 (Akinbami et al, 2012).

This also indicates that prevalence is higher among children and females, mostly in families with incomes below the poverty levels. CDC’ s National Asthma Control Program was established with the aim of reducing the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and limitations on activity due to asthma. The program is based on three public health principles, which are tracking, invention, and partnership. The program collects data and analyses trends of the disease, which is then translated to public health practices. Consequently, by involving all stakeholders, efficient policies can be formulated and implemented to the benefit of all.

Such programs seek to educate the public on how to handle and live with chronic disease.

References

World Health Organization. (n.d). Preventing chronic diseases a vital investment. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/chp/chronic_disease_report/contents/part2.pdf

Holt, P., Upham, J. & Sly, P. (2005). Contemporaneous maturation of immunologic and respiratory functions during early childhood: Implications for development of asthma prevention strategies. Retrieved from http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0091-6749/PIIS0091674905007591.pdf

Akinbami, L., Moorman, J. & Lui, Xiang. (2011). Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use, and Mortality: United States, 2005–2009. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr032.pdf

Bhargava, H. (2012). Asthma Risk Factors. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/asthma-risk-factors?page=2

Akinbami, L., Moorman J., Bailey, C., Zahran, H., Johnson, C. & Lui X. (2012). Trends in Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use, and Mortality in the United States, 2001–2010. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db94.pdf

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