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Asthma Rates Rising Across the U.S.
Date:3/2/2010

Prevalence varies significantly between states, CDC report shows,,

TUESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma rates are increasing across the United States, a new government study shows, but certain states have significantly lower rates of the respiratory disease.

The overall rate of asthma is currently estimated to be 7.85 percent of the population, an increase of about 0.5 percent every three years. But, the report also found that some states have dramatically lower rates of asthma. For example, the study found that while almost 11 percent of people in Rhode Island had asthma, just 5 percent of those living in Louisiana had the illness.

"Asthma is a very common condition," said study author Dr. Teresa Ann Morrison, a medical officer in the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch of the National Center for Environmental Health, in Atlanta.

"Our findings indicated wide differences in geographic prevalence among adults across the state level and an overall increased prevalence," she added.

Results of the study were to be presented Tuesday at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting, in New Orleans.

For the study, Morrison and her colleagues culled data on adults with asthma from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2000 to 2008. They broke the data into three-year increments (2000-2002, 2003-2005 and 2006 to 2008) so they could average the incidence of asthma over three years.

National three-year averages rose consistently by 0.5 percent. Overall, the incidence of asthma in adults was 7.85 percent, the study found.

Only one state -- Nevada -- experienced a decline in asthma incidence, but the difference wasn't statistically significant.

The prevalence of asthma varied significantly from state to state, with Louisiana reporting the lowest incidence at 5.04 percent and Rhode Island posting the highest incidence at 10.
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