Asthma rates record high in the US

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

Children were more likely than adults to be affected. The risk of asthma 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%).

According to the CDC report, more than 25% of black adults cannot afford asthma medication or routine physician visits; 20% of Hispanic adults cannot afford asthma medications, and more than 14% cannot afford routine care.

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), according to the news release.

In 2009, asthma accounted for 3388 deaths, 479,300 hospitalizations, 1.9 million emergency department visits, and 8.9 million visits to physician’s offices, according to a CDC news release.

According to the press release, the estimated annual cost in 2007 was $56 billion (2009 dollars), 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.

To reduce costs, the researchers involved in the report say appropriate preventive treatment is critical. Dr Portier said in the news release, “A key component for adults and children is to create and follow an asthma action plan. Significantly, this analysis reveals that more than half of all children and more than two-thirds of all adults with asthma do not have an individualized action plan. CDC encourages those with asthma to work with their doctors to take control of this disease.”

The condition unfortunately cannot be cured, but at Medical Specialists Pharmacy we can help you to control your asthma and provide both blue (relievers) inhalers such as Ventolin and Salbutamol, and brown (preventers) inhalers such as Qvar Beclomethasone, Qvar Easi-Breathe, and Pulvinal Beclomethasone through online consultations.

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