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Asthma Foundation Announces 2008 Asthma Capitals, Knoxville on Top Again

Working with a Doctor is Critical for Asthma Control No Matter Where You Live

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the third time in five years, Knoxville, TN, is ranked the #1 Asthma Capital(TM) -- the most challenging place to live with asthma in the U.S. -- by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Since 2004, AAFA has conducted scientific research to evaluate conditions in the largest 100 metropolitan areas in America and to rank them based on the quality of life for people with asthma in each city. The Foundation reviews 12 factors grouped into three categories: (1) Prevalence factors such as the crude death rate (CDR) for asthma and estimated prevalence of adult and pediatric asthma; (2) Risk factors such as air pollution, pollen counts and public smoking bans; and (3) Medical factors such as the number of asthma medications used per patient and the number of asthma specialists in the area.

Knoxville rose to the top of the 2008 Asthma Capitals rankings due in part to its higher than average annual pollen counts, high pollution, weak public smoking bans and the high use of asthma "rescue" medications per patient. A full report of the rankings for 100 cities, which was sponsored by a grant from AstraZeneca, is available a AstraZeneca is pleased to sponsor this research to highlight healthcare policy important to people with asthma, and to highlight environmental triggers in local communities. For the last 20 years, AstraZeneca has helped millions of people manage their respiratory conditions through discovery and development of asthma treatments.

Dr. Bob Overholt, a Board Certified Allergist in Knoxville, and a national expert on asthma, is not surprised. "Everyone in the medical community in Knoxville sees first-hand how this area affects asthma patients," said Overholt. "It's not just a spring or fall problem anymore. We see asthma patients all year long, and for many reasons."

This is not Knoxville's first time at the top of the list. The city was ranked #1 in 2004 and 2005 and dipped down in following years, but never went off the list. "Knoxville keeps appearing as a severe place for people with asthma," says Mike Tringale, AAFA's Director of External Affairs, "but people should not move away from cities just because they are on the list; you can't move away from asthma. We hope this ranking encourages patients to work better with their doctors to develop a better daily asthma management plan no matter where they live."

Top 2008 Asthma Capitals

The Asthma Capitals are considered to be the most challenging places to live with asthma; the top 10 cities for this year are:

1. Knoxville, TN

2. Tulsa, OK

3. Milwaukee, WI

4. Atlanta, GA

5. Memphis, TN

6. Allentown, PA

7. Charlotte, NC

8. Greenville, SC

9. St. Louis, MO

10. Greensboro, NC

Find the full rankings and complete data for all 100 cities at

About Asthma

Asthma is a condition characterized by inflammation of airways in the lungs resulting in chronic wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Asthma has a significant impact on both individual lives and society, including:

-- More than 4,000 deaths annually

-- More than 500,000 hospitalizations annually

-- 14.6 million missed days of school each year, making asthma the leading cause of school absenteeism

-- 14.5 million missed days of work for adults each year

-- 1.9 million emergency room visits each year

-- $18 billion in medical expenses and indirect costs each year

About AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading national nonprofit organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information, conducts educational programs, fights for patients' rights, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. Log on to for more information.

SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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