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Home News Department of Health Urges New Mexicans to Better Understand Asthma
Matt Bieber
505-470-2290 Office

Department of Health Urges New Mexicans to Better Understand Asthma

April 30, 2021 - Asthma - Awareness


May is Asthma Awareness Month; World Asthma Day is May 2nd


Santa Fe--The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) joins state and federal public health partners in recognizing May as ‘Asthma Awareness Month’ and urges New Mexicans to learn more about asthma control to improve the lives of all people with asthma. 

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in New Mexico. About 136,000 adults and 26,000 children currently have asthma in the state. Asthma is a chronic lifelong disease that affects the lungs. It can cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. People with moderate-to-severe or uncontrolled asthma are more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 and should register to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. 

In addition, asthma is one of the leading causes of childhood hospitalizations and school absenteeism. In New Mexico, 55% of school-age children with asthma miss at least one day of in-class instruction due to their asthma during a normal school year. Among New Mexicans of all ages with uncontrolled asthma, there are over 6,000 visits to the emergency room each year.  

Although there is no cure for asthma, through quality health care, appropriate medications, and good self-management skills, it is possible to manage the disease to reduce and prevent asthma attacks,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “When asthma is controlled, people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms, and can live normal and productive lives.” 

Asthma attacks, or episodes, are dangerous and sometimes life-threatening events that reduce the quality of life for people with asthma. People with asthma can prevent asthma attacks if they learn how to avoid asthma triggers like tobacco smoke, mold, outdoor air pollution, and colds and flu. Asthma episodes can also be prevented by using inhalers and other prescribed, daily, long-term control medicines correctly. 

Asthma is also costly. Expenses from routine checkups, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and medications put a significant burden on families, the health care sector, and the economy. Each year in New Mexico, the estimated cost to New Mexico Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program for childhood emergency room visits for asthma is $1.9 million. 

NMDOH collaborates with communities and partners across the state, including the New Mexico Council on Asthma, (NMCOA) to develop strategies to improve and expand the reach of comprehensive asthma control services. NMDOH and NMCOA are proud to announce a new five-year strategic plan, Clearing the Air – Reducing the Burden of Asthma in New Mexico 2021-2025, which serves as a guide to asthma stakeholders as they work toward improving asthma outcomes in the state.  

For asthma education resources, or to learn more about statewide strategic initiatives and the strategic plan, visit the NMDOH Asthma Control Program ( or the New Mexico Council on Asthma ( 

To learn more about asthma control and management, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Asthma 

The Environmental Public Health Tracking website also provides data on asthma and air quality ( 

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Matt Bieber at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

Departamento de Salud Exhorta a que los Nuevomexicanos Entiendan Mejor el Asma