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Release: July 17, 2001

UI Health Care offers free asthma screenings at Johnson County Fair

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Children and adults who tire easily during exercise, are unable to keep up with peers, or have breathing problems such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath can find out if asthma is the cause by taking a free screening test from 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 25 at the Johnson County Fair.

The free asthma screenings will be offered by the Division of Allergy and Immunology in the University of Iowa department of internal medicine.

Early detection and treatment of asthma can significantly improve the life of people with the condition, said Iftikhar Hussain, M.D., UI assistant professor (clinical) of internal medicine, who is spearheading the effort with assistance from other UI Health Care professionals.

At the screenings, adults can take a 20-question "Life Quality Test." In addition, "The Kids' Asthma Check" will allow children ages 8 to 14 to answer questions themselves about their breathing problems. Parents of children age 7 and younger can complete a version of the "check" for their child. Children must be accompanied by an adult to complete screening.

Each participant also can take a lung function test that involves blowing air into a tube. Using the symptom questionnaire and lung test results, a UI Health Care asthma specialist will advise whether participants should seek a thorough examination and diagnosis.

The entire screening takes 15 to 20 minutes. The fairgrounds are located on Riverside Drive, south of the Iowa City Municipal Airport.

Participants whose screening test shows they may need further asthma assessment or treatment can receive referrals to the UI Division of Allergy and Immunology, which specializes in longterm care for patients with asthma.

Last year the UI screened nearly 200 adults and children at the fair, and 124 individuals were referred for further asthma diagnosis.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.