As with any disease, there are many ways to measure asthma severity in the population. Surveys reveal that about 5 million Californians have asthma.
A subset of these sufferers will experience severe uncontrolled symptoms in a given year that cause them to visit a hospital emergency department (ED) for treatment.
Measuring asthma-related ED visits can reveal the frequency of poorly controlled or severe cases of asthma in the population. Differences in the ED visit rate among different populations can suggest how to target additional investments in asthma care.