Digital News Report – According to a new Vital Signs report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.2 million people were newly diagnosed with asthma between 2001 and 2009. In 2001, 20.3 million people had asthma and in 2009, 24.6 million people had asthma. The reason for the increase of asthma cases is unknown.
Asthma symptoms include wheezing, being out of breath, having chest tightness, and coughing. The air passage and lungs can feel constricted making it difficult to breathe. Prescription medication help to keep the airways and lungs open during an attack. Also learning to stay away from allergens and irritants in the environment can help to prevent an asthma attack. The chronic respiratory disease cannot be cured but can be managed.
The CDC chief of Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Paul Garbe, D.V.M., M.P.H. said that the outdoor air quality is better and secondhand smoke is less. In theory asthma should be less, but this is not the case.
Asthma is an expensive condition to treat. Between 2002 and 2007, the CDC said each person with asthma spent an annual cost of $3,300 in medical expenses. Some cannot afford medication to treat asthma. Around 2 in 5 uninsured and 1 in 9 insured individuals with the condition were not able to afford prescription medications to treat their asthma said the report.
All demographic groups saw an increase in asthma cases. More children were diagnosed with asthma than adults. Boys had an 11.3 percent increase. Black children had an almost 50 percent increase. Non-Hispanic black children had the highest rate of asthma at 17 percent; this is the highest rate in a racial/ethnic group. According to the government researchers, one in 10 children and one in 12 adults have asthma.
By Victoria Brown