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St. Louis Named Top Asthma Capital for 2009
Date:1/27/2009

ors, such as air pollution, pollen counts and public smoking bans; and medical factors, such as the number of asthma medications used per patient and the number of asthma specialists in the area. (1)

"For the last several years, I have seen an increase in the severity of asthma in our patients and how their life is affected by it," (1,2) said Mario Castro, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Washington University in St. Louis. "The lack of a smoke-free public environment for our patients with respiratory problems, especially asthma, (1) in St. Louis is appalling. Our return to the No. 1 Asthma Capital ranking is very concerning news for St. Louis asthma patients and physicians."(1) Asthma, if left uncontrolled, can result in serious consequences. (3) In fact, sudden asthma episodes account for an estimated 1.8 million emergency room visits (3) and nearly 500,000 hospital admissions (3) each year in the United States.

AstraZeneca sponsored this research to better understand the environmental factors and health policies that impact people with asthma, specifically around asthma control. For the last 20 years, AstraZeneca has helped millions of people manage their respiratory conditions through discovery and development of asthma treatments.

"Although St. Louis was found to be a particularly difficult place for people with asthma to live, asthma triggers are present in every American city," says Mike Tringale, AAFA's Director of External Affairs. "There is no way for asthma patients to escape their disease, (4) but no matter where they live, patients can work with their physicians to find ways to effectively control their symptoms and live a good quality of life." (5)

"We hope this survey ranking encourages asthma patients everywhere to talk to their doctors about how to avoid asthma triggers and effective asthma control," said Dr. Castro. "While asthma may not be curable, (4) it
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SOURCE Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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