Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Asthma at an all-time high

The prevalence of asthma in the United States is at an all-time high, according to a new report, called Asthma's Impact on the Nation, published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

An analysis of state-by-state data from the Asthma Call-Back Survey revealed that the proportion of asthmatic individuals in the United States increased by nearly 15% from 2001 to 2010, at which point 25.7 million people were affected: 7 million children (1 in 11) and 18.7 million adults (1 in 12). Children were more likely than adults to be affected.

The was also associated with poverty. People with family incomes below the national poverty level were most likely to have asthma (11.2%), compared with those whose family incomes were from 100% to 200% of the poverty level (8.7%) or more than 200% of poverty level (7.3%).

Nearly 1 in 2 children aged 5 to 17 years missed at least 1 day of school because of asthma in 2008 (10.5 million missed days), and nearly 1 in 3 adults missed at least 1 day of work (14.2 million missed days).

The estimated annual cost in 2007 was $56 billion, most of which was driven by medical expenses ($50.1 billion). Loss of productivity from missed work/school and premature death accounted for $3.8 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, according to the release. 

To reduce costs the researchers involved in the report say appropriate preventive treatment is critical.

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