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Asthma Burden is Nationwide, and It’s Not Just About Air Quality

There is still no cure for asthma, so for 25 million people in the U.S., this chronic disease continues to be a daily burden no matter where they live. AAFA’s new list of the 2014 Asthma Capitals is the most comprehensive nationwide longitudinal analysis of metro area asthma data for the largest cities in the U.S. We look at 13 critical factors regarding asthma prevalence, environmental conditions and healthcare utilization.

It's Not Just About Pollution

No place is completely safe from asthma, and this year’s report shows that where you live can make a difference on exposure to asthma triggers, quality of life, costs and access to care. But air pollution is only one factor. Other concerns such as pollen, secondhand smoke, poverty, uninsured families and emergency room (ER) visits can be critical signs that certain places are worse for asthma. It is especially true for people with severe asthma.

Richmond Still #1

This year Richmond, VA, has risen once again to the top of the Asthma Capitals list for a second year in a row. Richmond was also #1 in 2010 and 2011. This year, many key factors pushed Richmond back to the top, such as very high levels of year-round pollen, high rates of poverty and uninsured, no city smoking bans, a high crude death rate for asthma and a large number of annual emergency room visits for asthma. Here are the top 10 cities for this year, and click on the links above and below for the report of all 100 cities and their details.

Severe Asthma and the Burden on Emergency Rooms
Asthma Capitals
An estimated 5-10% of the asthma population is considered to have the most severe form of asthma and often do not respond well to conventional asthma treatments. People with severe asthma are likely to have more asthma attacks, visit ERs, be hospitalized more frequently, and they have a greater risk of death. But there is new hope for some people with severe asthma. See the links below to learn more about Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) for asthma.

Don't Move, Improve!

Asthma continues to be one of the most common and costly diseases. Experts agree that people can't move away from their asthma since every city has a variety of risk factors. Instead, people should work with an asthma specialist to improve their overall asthma management plan no matter where they live.

The Asthma Capitals is an annual research project to call attention to the asthma epidemic and to advocate for changes in each city to improve the quality of life for people with asthma. Dissemination of this year’s report is made possible by a sponsorship from Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) a leading manufacturer of medical devices, and additional support from patients and family donors to AAFA.

More Information About the 2014 rankings:

Additional Tools and Resources:

Support AAFA:

To speak with a member of AAFA's External Affairs staff about the research and rankings, call toll-free 1-800-7-ASTHMA or write to talisa@aafa.org.  



Special thanks to our research partner Pollen.com a division of IMS Health.


Find Certified ProductsLooking for products that have been proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies? Look for this mark and visit www.aafa.org/certified to find products and learn more. 

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