FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Asthma is a common reason for physician visits, although the rate of asthma visits decreased from 2001 through 2016, according to a report published Sept. 20 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Lara J. Akinbami, M.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues assessed trends in asthma visits to non-federally employed U.S. physicians from 2001 through 2016. They assessed asthma visit characteristics for 2012 to 2015.

The researchers found that population-based asthma visit rates declined from 40.2 to 30.7 visits per 1,000 persons from 2001 through 2016; at-risk visit rates decreased from 55.5 to 36.7 visits per 100 persons with asthma. There was an annual average of 10.2 million asthma visits during 2012 to 2015: 63.5, 53.8, and 32.5 percent by non-Hispanic whites, women, and children aged younger than 15 years. Across sex and racial and ethnic groups, population and at-risk visit rates were similar. The highest at-risk asthma visit rate was seen for children aged 0 to 4 years. Sixty percent of asthma visits were to primary care physicians. Asthma severity and control were documented during 34.5 and 40.9 percent of visits, respectively. Asthma education and asthma action plans were provided in 21.4 and 9.9 percent of asthma visits, respectively.

“Some asthma management strategies recommended by national asthma guidelines were documented infrequently in first-listed asthma visits,” the authors write.

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