- Asthma is a chronic disease that affects airways in lungs. During asthma attacks, patients can experience wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, or tightness and pain in the chest.
- Asthmatic attacks can be triggered by allergens, exercise, smoke, pollution, or airway infections.
- In 2010, more than 18 million adults and 7 million children suffered from asthma.
- In the last decade, the number of people with asthma increased by 15 percent.
- Asthma costs the country more than $50 billion every year in healthcare costs.
- In children, boys are more likely to develop asthma than girls, but in adults, women are more likely than men.
- Hispanics may have an elevated risk for exposure to air pollution since a disproportionate number (80 percent) live in areas that fail to meet one or more national standards for air pollution.
- Asthma is the number one reason for children missing school, accounting for more than 10 million missed school days a year.
- College-age adults (ages 18 to 24) are more likely to develop asthma than older adults.
- Less than 17 percent of people without asthma smoke, while more than 20 percent of people with asthma smoke. Smoking is known to trigger asthmatic attacks.
- Blacks are 2 to 3 times more likely than any other racial group to die from asthma, but roughly 25 percent of black adults with asthma cannot afford regular doctor’s visits.
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Sources: CDC Fact Sheet, CDC Stats