THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week 620.3

Guest Chris Fanta, Clinical Director, Partners Asthma Ctr. Boston, MA

Topic Asthma education & treatment

Host/Producer Steve Girard

NEMA African Americans and Hispanics are hit hardest by asthma. Dr. Chris Fanta of Partners Asthma Center in Boston...

FANTA WhatÕs most dramatic about persons of color in general is the greater severity of their disease...a greater percentage of hospitalizations, and a disproportionate number of asthmatic deaths...there are about 5 thousand deaths in the United States each year. But each death is tragic, for sure, because this is a preventable disease. I think the evidence points more and more to poverty as the main culprit. Whether itÕs the housing in which you live...youÕre more exposed to those allergens...you have less control about modifying it...you have less chance of having air conditioning to filter out pollens from the outside. You have more exposure to cockroaches in the inner city, urban environments, and thatÕs been clearly demonstrated as a risk factor for severe asthma. And then partly itÕs difficulty getting the good health care that is effective in prevention of severe asthma...whether itÕs difficulty finding a physician, or difficulty getting to the physician because there are so many barriers in the way.

NEMA Once a day, preventative medications are now available...if you always seem to have chest wheezing and coughs...and sometimes unable to catch your breath, see your doctor. IÕm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.