May 4, 2004
HONOLULU – With nearly 10 percent of Hawaii’s children
having asthma and thousands more estimated to be undiagnosed, the
Hawaii State Department of Health is urging the public to learn more
about the signs and symptoms of this possibly debilitating disease.
The goal of the World Asthma Day (May 4th) and National Asthma
Awareness Month is to educate the community about the importance of a
timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment in the care of people with
asthma. Asthma cannot be cured but it can be effectively treated.
Treatment of asthma aims at control of the disease so the person
with asthma does not experience asthma symptoms or acute attacks, does
not have to overuse quick-relief medication or visit the emergency
room, is able to engage in normal physical activity (including
exercise), and has normal lung function.
Other facts that you should know about asthma:
"Taking a deep breath is a struggle for many Hawaii residents diagnosed
with asthma," said Chiyome Fukino, M.D., Director, Hawaii Department of
Health. "People need to know that there are treatment plans that will
allow them to live more active lives."
- 28,600 (9.7%) children in Hawaii have asthma.
- 64,000 (6.9%) adults in Hawaii have asthma.
- Native Hawaiians appear to have highest rates of asthma when
compared with the other major ethnic groups (Japanese, Filipino, and
- Asthma appears to be associated with obesity.
- In 2001, over 400 hospitalizations were due primarily to
- Infants and very young children (0 - 4 years of age) continue to
make up the majority of hospitalizations due to asthma.
- In 2002, asthma was a contributory factor in 73 deaths among
On May 26th, health professionals and stakeholders from across the
state will assemble on Oahu to participate in the 4th Annual Hawaii
Asthma Consortium. The gathering will be held at the Japanese Cultural
Center of Hawaii from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This consortium was created to provide an open forum for people in
the health community to learn about the wide range of projects,
clinical and epidemiological research, and public health practices
focused on asthma here in Hawaii.
Other events during May - National Asthma Awareness Month:
- World Asthma Day Concert, May 4th, Noon – 1 p.m., Tamarind
Park @ Bishop Square, Honolulu
- Breathe Easy Asthma Awareness Day, May 16th, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.,
Hawaii Naniloa Hotel, Hilo
- Free Asthma Screenings:
- Windward Mall, May 8th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Ward Warehouse, May 8th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Kahala Mall, May 22nd, Noon – 4 p.m.
- Windward Mall, May 23rd, Noon – 4 p.m.
For more information on asthma, visit the American Lung Association
of Hawaii web site at www.ala-hawaii.org
For More Information Contact:
Gregg Kishaba, Asthma Program Coordinator
Hawaii Department of Health
Laura M. Lott
Department of Health
Phone: (808) 586-4418