Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent episodes of breathlessness, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness, called exacerbations. Exacerbations can be triggered by exposures and conditions such as respiratory infections, house dust mites, animal dander, mold, pollen, exercise, tobacco smoke, and indoor and outdoor air pollutants. Although there is no cure for asthma, exacerbations can be reduced with appropriate management, which includes appropriate use of medications and provision of a healthy physical environment. Asthma prevalence increased dramatically during the last two decades. In 2001, an estimated 3.9 million Californian adults and children reported that they had been diagnosed with asthma at some time in their life. Every year about 40,000 Californians are hospitalized because of asthma. Hospitalization and mortality rates are higher among African-Americans compared to other racial groups. Further, hospitalization rates among children are much higher than other age groups. EHIB staff conduct a number of projects related to asthma, including a five-year grant funded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, entitled, “California Breathing: Addressing Asthma from a Public Health Perspective.”


  • Health Problems


  • Asthma in California: BRFSS Points of Interest
  • California Asthma Facts December 2003: Meeting the Challenge of Healthy People 2010
  • California Asthma Facts May 2006, Asthma and Obesity: Results from the California Healthy Kids Survey 2001-2003
  • California Asthma Facts, August 2004: Work-Related Asthma
  • California Asthma Facts, March 2004: Asthma Disparities Among African Americans
  • California Asthma Facts, May 2003: Asthma Hospitalizations in California, 2000


  • Asthma in California: Laying the Foundation for a Statewide Strategy
  • California County Asthma Hospitalization Chart Book, August 2000
  • California County Asthma Hospitalization Chart Book, September 2003
  • California County Asthma Mortality Chart Book
  • Childhood asthma at the U.S./Mexico border: Trends in hospitalizations and air quality for two California counties.
  • Examining associations between childhood asthma and traffic flow using a geographic information system.
  • Feedback Letter to Site Directors with Results
  • Hierarchical modeling of spatio-temporally misaligned data: Relating traffic density to pediatric asthma hospitalizations.
  • Progress in Pediatric Asthma Surveillance I: The Application of Health Care Use Data in Alameda County, California
  • Progress in Pediatric Asthma Surveillance II: Geospatial Patterns of Asthma in Alameda County, California
  • Rice burning and asthma hospitalizations, Butte County, California, 1983-1992
  • Strategic Plan for Asthma in California
  • Understanding Asthma Focus Groups


  • Border Asthma and Allergies Study (BASTA), Imperial County
  • California Breathing: Addressing Asthma from a Public Health Perspective
  • California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP)
  • Childhood Asthma Coalition in Mendocino County
  • Childhood Asthma Initiative


  • Deanna Rossi