Navigation Links
Number of Americans With Asthma Keeps Rising
Date:5/3/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- The number of Americans suffering from asthma continues to rise, jumping more than 12 percent between 2001 and 2009, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.

That's an increase of 4.3 million people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which released the report.

About 25 million Americans have asthma "and that number, unfortunately, is rising," the CDC's Principal Deputy Director Ileana Arias said during a noon press conference. "We don't know exactly why the rate is going up, but there are measures that individuals with asthma can take to control asthma symptoms."

All those new asthmatics are pushing the price tag for asthma care in the United States upwards, too -- from about $53 billion in 2002 to roughly $56 billion five years later, about a 6 percent rise.

"Asthma is a chronic disease, but it can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack," Arias noted. Even so, about 50 percent of those with asthma still have severe attacks each year, Arias said. In addition, 3,447 Americans died from asthma in 2007, she said.

This upsurge in asthma was seen across all ethnic and racial groups, the CDC said, with more cases among children (9.6 percent) than adults (7.7 percent) in 2009. The rate was particularly high among boys, with 11.3 percent having the illness.

Asthma hit black children especially hard, with an almost 50 percent increase in cases from 2001 to 2009. In fact, by 2009 a full 17 percent of black children suffered from asthma, the greatest for any racial/ethnic group, the report finds.

One asthma expert, Dr. Shirin Shafazand, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the finding wasn't a surprise. "We see the same trends -- those who are poor, children and blacks are more at risk," she said.

These are the people we should be targeting with education and asthma management, Shafazand said. "But because of lack of insurance, many don't have access to medication and physicians. The message is to try to reduce this disparity."

Indeed, the per-person cost for treating asthma averaged about $3,300 per year from 2002 to 2007, but many people went without proper care. Insurance coverage mattered greatly in that respect: 2 in every 5 uninsured people with asthma were unable to afford medication to treat their condition, compared to 1 in every 9 people with insurance, the CDC said.

Right now, CDC officials say they aren't sure why asthma rates continue to surge. But in the meantime, the agency recommends these measures to stem the tide:

  • Improving indoor air quality for asthmatics through smoke-free air laws.
  • Teaching asthmatics how to avoid triggers such as tobacco smoke, mold, pet dander and air pollution.
  • Encouraging doctors to prescribe inhaled corticosteroid drugs for all chronic asthma patients and teaching patients how to manage their symptoms with an action plan.
  • Promoting ways of preventing asthma attacks, such as access to corticosteroids and other asthma drugs.
  • Encouraging doctors and others to conduct environmental assessments and asthma education sessions.

Asthma causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. People with the condition can control their symptoms and prevent attacks by avoiding triggers and using medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids.

Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, called the new CDC data "an important report as it shows we are still far from having achieved control of the asthma epidemic in this country."

It is difficult to speculate on the cause of the continuing increase in asthma, said Edelman, who is also a professor of preventive medicine, internal medicine, physiology & biophysics at Stony Brook University in N.Y. "We now know, for example, that obesity makes asthma worse and may bring out asthma in those who have the tendency. Thus some have speculated that the rise in prevalence might be related to the obesity epidemic."

Despite the bad news on prevalence, there is some good news on asthma control, although not in this report, Edelman said.

"Over about the same period of time, deaths from asthma have dropped by about a third, and emergency room visits for asthma have declined," he noted. "Most think that this is related to more use of inhaled steroids. Sadly, the report indicates that still too few asthma patients are using inhaled steroids."

Shafazand believes dirtier air and allergens such as dust, pet dander and secondhand smoke may be driving the increase in asthma. But, she added that the best way to treat asthma is to control it.

"If you have asthma, you need to take responsibility to talk to your physician and learn what to do and [ask] 'how can I change my lifestyle to improve things?,'" Shafazand said. "In the case of children, the parents need to take that responsibility," she said.

More information

For more information on asthma, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Norman H. Edelman, M.D., professor, preventive medicine, internal medicine, physiology & biophysics, Stony Brook University, N.Y., and chief medical officer, American Lung Association; Shirin Shafazand, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; May 3, 2011, teleconference with: Ileana Arias, Ph.D., Principal Deputy Director, Paul Garbe, D.V.M., M.P.H, chief, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, both at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers find increasing the number of family physicians reduces hospital readmissions
2. Sharpened focus: Improving the numbers, utility of medical imaging
3. US healthcare system cant keep up with number of baby boomers bone fractures
4. Surgical instruments with electronic serial numbers
5. Improved behavioral health needed to respond to rising number of suicides among US Armed Forces
6. Number of Mountain Bike Injuries Dropping
7. As Economy Picks Up, So Do Number of Nips & Tucks
8. Study Finds Round Numbers Are Strong Motivators
9. New Method Might Raise Number of Donor Lungs
10. Ventilation changes could double number of lungs available for transplant: study
11. Record Number of Americans Tested for HIV
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Number of Americans With Asthma Keeps Rising
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Thermi™, a world leader in thermistor-regulated energy ... promotions of Allison Kelly to executive vice president of the company’s new North ... North American capital sales, and Wendy Oseas to vice president of global marketing. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... motivational speaker, trainer and author Ray Clarke poses a question as a challenge ... . In his book, "Being in the Being" (published by Partridge Singapore), Clarke ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... AccuVein Inc. announces the Infusion ... of Practice, to include vascular visualization as a standard practice. AccuVein ( http://www.accuvein.com ... the market, facilitates adherence to this standard with its easy to use, widely ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings ... with customizable backdrops in the Christmas edition of the ProDrop series. Pick and choose ... audiences and invoke the spirit of Christmas using ProDrop's wintry generators. ProDrop Christmas is ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Food Labeling for American ... and wellness best practices in the past couple of decades, and food manufacturers ... Heart Month, which acts as an exceptional opportunity to revise food labels and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... WILMINGTON, N.C. , Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a leading provider of custom manufacturing and development ... announces expanded sterile fill-finish capabilities and capacity in ... Substantial growth in demand has driven several recent ... in 2001 it had one filling line with ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , 11 de fevereiro de 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... de sua fábrica de soroalbumina bovina (BSA -- ... A fábrica fica na Ilha Norte da Nova ... desenvolvido e estabelecido na fábrica da Proliant nos ... . O projeto e instalação dos equipamentos foram ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... February 11, 2016 Breast Cancer Therapeutics ... Asia-Pacific (APAC) breast cancer market will ... billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) ... Markets to 2021 - states that the ... expansion from $1.9 billion in 2014 to $3.4 billion by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: