The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has recently brought to our attention the effect of asthma on Americans. The new report has found that in addition to being responsible for thousands of deaths each year, asthma caused almost 2 million people to attend hospital’s emergency rooms in the last year.The study also noted which groups are more susceptible to asthma. Women and children have a higher prevalence of asthmatic attacks as do African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. Other higher risk groups were people living in poverty. Geographically the Northeast and Midwest also had more cases of asthma than average.Other statistics gleaned from the report are that in 2008 the preliminary estimation of deaths in the U.S. from asthma was 3,395. This was slightly down on the previous year when 3,447 people died. There are 17.5 million adult asthma sufferers in the United States, as well as 7.1 million children. That is 8.2% of the population.In 2008, 10.5 million days from school and 14.2 million workdays were lost. And 4.2% of the population was recorded as having one asthma attack that year. That is over half of the people presently having asthma. In the previous year almost 14 million people visited their doctors surgeries requiring treatment for asthma.In 2007 emergency rooms treated 1.75 million cases requiring treatment for asthma. Of that group 456,000 people were hospitalized for treatment.The Incidence of Asthma Varies amongst Diverse Sections within the Population
The report indicates that there is a disparity in the incidences of asthma with diverse subgroups within the population. It can be seen that males are less likely to have asthma, yet up until they are 17 boys are more susceptible to asthma. Asians are the least likely to have asthma and blacks are the most likely. White people are in between blacks and Asians.
In addition, it was found that in 2008 that 10.5 million school days were lost by children in the 5 to 17 years age group who had asthma. In the adult population of people over 18 years 14.2 million work days were lost due to asthma. Furthermore, amongst people who were employed, 6% reported having one or more asthma attacks in the previous year which curtailed their ability to function normally.
It was also seen that Puerto Ricans are more likely to get asthma than non Hispanic white and non Hispanic blacks but Mexicans were less likely to develop asthma.
Geographical Prevalence of Asthma Rates
The researchers concluded that asthma rates in suburban areas when compared to the countryside did not vary significantly. However diverse geographical regions did show differences. The Northeast had a higher incidence of asthma sufferers than other areas in the South and West. The Midwest also had a higher prevalence of asthma cases when compared to the South. The reasons for this are unknown but the type of pollen being produced, lax anti smoking laws and other social factors may come into play.
The incidence of asthma, after a drop in the mid nineties, has consistently remained at historically high rates according to the study.