The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania will mark World Asthma Day in Harrisburg at the lower rotunda of Pennsylvania State Capitol on Tuesday May 7, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More than 1 million Pennsylvanians - adults and children - have been diagnosed with asthma. The chronic lung disease, which makes it difficult to breathe, is controllable but often times results in frequent emergency room visits and hospitalization. World Asthma Day is a national event that is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma with a goal to improve awareness and care around the world.

"Asthma causes more school absences than any other chronic disease, averaging over 14 million lost school days annually in the United States," says Linda Ehrhardt of American Lung Association in Pennsylvania. "We will be giving our state legislators packets of information, letting them know how many people in their districts have asthma and also, the disparities of asthma between racial groups."

In addition to providing educational materials, the Pennsylvania Asthma Partnership, a collaboration between the American Lung Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, will offer free spirometry and asthma management tips to attendees.

There is no fee to attend the event. Individuals with asthma, family members and friends of asthma sufferers, medical field experts and health educators are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Linda Ehrhardt at 541-5864, ext. 44 or at

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