May 03, 2011

1 in 12 Americans have Asthma and the numbers are growing

US Center for disease control - Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing .The number of people diagnosed with asthma grew by 4.3 million from 2001 to 2009. From 2001 through 2009 asthma rates rose the most among black children, almost a 50% increase.

Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007. Asthma costs in the US grew from about $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007, about a 6% increase. Greater access to medical care is needed for the growing number of people with asthma.

Wikipedia on asthma

As of 2009, 300 million people worldwide were affected by asthma leading to approximately 250,000 deaths per year. It is estimated that asthma has a 7-10% prevalence worldwide. As of 1998, there was a great disparity in prevalence worldwide across the world (as high as a 20 to 60-fold difference), with a trend toward more developed and westernized countries having higher rates of asthma.

Westernization however does not explain the entire difference in asthma prevalence between countries, and the disparities may also be affected by differences in genetic, social and environmental risk factors. Mortality however is most common in low to middle income countries, while symptoms were most prevalent (as much as 20%) in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Republic of Ireland; they were lowest (as low as 2–3%) in Eastern Europe, Indonesia, Greece, Uzbekistan, India, and Ethiopia.

While asthma is more common in affluent countries, it is by no means a restricted problem; the WHO estimate that there are between 15 and 20 million people with asthma in India

* The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001.

* More than half (53%) of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack. 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007.

* About 1 in 10 children (10%) had asthma and 1 in 12 adults (8%) had asthma in 2009. Women were more likely than men and boys more likely than girls to have asthma.

* About 1 in 9 (11%) non-Hispanic blacks of all ages and about 1 in 6 (17%) of non-Hispanic black children had asthma in 2009, the highest rate among racial/ethnic groups.

* The greatest rise in asthma rates was among black children (almost a 50% increase) from 2001 through 2009.

* Asthma cost the US about $3,300 per person with asthma each year from 2002 to 2007 in medical expenses, missed school and work days, and early deaths.

Texas has low asthma but other pollution maps seem to have some correlation - but there is no causal link in the literature

2.5 micron Particulate matter map of the US (2001-2006)

Epidemiologic evidence for asthma and exposure to air toxics: linkages between occupational, indoor, and community air pollution research. (2002)

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