Nearly one 1 in 12 in US have asthma: study

Asthma cases in the United States have risen 12.3 percent since 2001, and nearly one in 12, or almost 25 million Americans, are stricken with the chronic respiratory disease, the government said Tuesday.

The extra 4.3 million cases over the past decade also cost more to the US economy - from $53 billion for medical expenses and lost productivity in 2001 to $56 billion in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

But officials say they do not understand why more people are getting asthma, especially when fewer Americans are smoking and the nation is taking steps to cut back on air pollution.

"Despite the fact that outdoor air quality has improved, we've reduced two common asthma triggers - second-hand smoke and smoking in general - asthma is increasing," said Paul Garbe, chief of CDC's Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch.

"While we don't know the cause of the increase, our top priority is getting people to manage their symptoms better."

Asthma can affect people of all ages but tends to be more prevalent among the poor, said the CDC Vital Signs report, issued as the United States marks Asthma Awareness Month.

African-American children have the highest rate of asthma, at 17.6 percent.

But all ethnic and demographic groups saw a rise in incidences of asthma over the 2001-2009 study period, which used data from the National Health Interview Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

The overall prevalence of asthma in the US population went from 20.3 million people in 2001 (7.3 percent) to 24.6 million people in 2009 (7.3 percent).

Asthma can be triggered by "tobacco smoke, mold, outdoor air pollution, and infections linked to influenza, cold-like symptoms, and other viruses," the CDC said.

Most asthma sufferers can eliminate their symptoms if they take prescription drugs such as inhaled corticosteroids, and if they can "modify their environment to reduce or eliminate exposure to allergens and irritants," the CDC said.

Medical expenses were about $3,300 per person annually for treating asthma, but among people without health insurance, two in five said they could not afford medication.

ksh/rl

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent