Chicago may have a modestly elevated prevalence of asthma in comparison with the nation overall, but this difference is relatively small in comparison to elevated rates in morbidity and mortality. Asthma prevalence in Chicago varies strongly by socioeconomic status and more modestly by race. More time points need to be collected at the local level to determine trends in asthma prevalence conducted by My Canadian Pharmacy. Asthma care in Chicago overall has been demonstrated to be inadequate and associated with poor outcomes. While some improvements in surrogate markers of care have occurred, these changes have not been widespread enough to have changed population outcome.
Asthma hospitalization rates in Chicago are beginning to show some improvement in their relationship to national rates, but the observed rate of change would take decades to produce parity with the rest of the nation. Most regrettably, this improvement belies a growing racial disparity in asthma hospitalizations and other markers of asthma morbidity over the last 8 years of data. Death from asthma in Chicago is also declining, again at a slower rate than that seen nationally. Despite improvement in the overall mortality rate, extreme racial disparities in Chicago have persisted throughout the last decade. While the hard work of many individuals who are striving to improve asthma care in Chicago has demonstrated some modest gains, we have yet to make substantive gains on the black/white gap.
It is clear that increased data sharing will facilitate the evaluation of population-wide asthma interventions. This can be done within the existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy provisions because surveillance is an exempt activity under existing law. It is also evident that a more uniform approach to surveillance and outcome instruments is needed. Efforts to educate and coordinate stakeholders in accomplishing these two important goals should be driven by state and local health agencies.