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Published in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 116, Issue 8, 15 April 2004, Pages 555-558.


The prevalence of asthma has increased substantially in the United States since 1980 (1). The primary clinical and public health strategy to reduce the burden of asthma is to prevent exacerbation of the disease, of which upper and lower respiratory tract infections are a major cause (2–5). One such infection—influenza— and its complications are potentially preventable with annual vaccination, which is a safe and effective method (6,7), including among persons with asthma (8). Because persons with asthma are at increased risk of complications from influenza, they are advised to receive annual influenza vaccinations (9), unless there are contraindications.
Little is known about how adults with asthma or health care providers comply with the annual influenza vaccination recommendations issued by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (9). Among children with asthma, however, vaccination levels are low (10 –15). We therefore sought to assess the influenza vaccination coverage among adults with asthma, as well as to identify predictors of receiving such a vaccination.

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