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PHOM Indicator Report of Asthma Hospitalizations

Why Is This Important?

Asthma can usually be managed in an outpatient setting, reducing the need for inpatient hospitalization. Tracking rates of hospitalization can aid in identifying populations or areas with inadequate access to routine medical care.

An asthma attack can result in a hospitalization and can be initiated by a variety of triggers. Some of these include exposures to environmental tobacco smoke, dust mites, cockroach allergen, mold, pets, strenuous physical exercise, and air pollution. Two key air pollutants that can affect asthma are ozone (found in smog) and PM or particulate matter (found in haze, smoke, and dust).

The majority of problems associated with asthma, including hospitalization, are preventable if asthma is managed according to established guidelines. Effective management includes control of exposure to factors that trigger exacerbations, adequate pharmacological management, continual monitoring of the disease, and patient education in asthma care.

Hospitalizations due to Asthma by Age Groups: 0-4, 5-64, and 65+, Utah, 2007-2011

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Data Sources

  • Utah Inpatient Hospital Discharge Data, Office of Health Care Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau

Data Notes

The ICD-9 code used to define asthma is 493.

How Are We Doing?

Utah is below the Healthy People 2020 objectives for asthma hospitalizations. In 2011 Utah's overall hospitalization rate was 5.7 visits per 10,000 people. Of particular interest is the high number of hospitalizations due to asthma among males aged 1-4, and females aged 65+.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Asthma Task Force, with participation from the Utah Department of Health's Asthma Program, American Lung Association of Utah, health care providers, school personnel, and other professionals working with asthma developed the Utah Asthma Plan. This statewide plan identifies numerous strategies that will help fulfill the vision of "Utah communities working together to improve the quality of life for people with chronic asthma symptoms by increasing awareness, access, and education." Action groups are currently working on a number of projects identified in the state plan. In addition, surveillance is ongoing to assess the burden of asthma, asthma trends, and to evaluate how asthma affects health-related quality of life.

Healthy People Objective RD-2:

Reduce hospitalizations for asthma
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/02/2013

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Tue, 25 November 2014 14:22:36 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:24 MST