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CDC: 8 Percent of Individuals in U.S. Have Asthma

Rates are higher in females, children, and black and Puerto Rican individuals

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- More than 8 percent of people in the United States have asthma, and the condition is associated with substantial loss of work and school days as well as increases in emergency department visits and hospitalizations, according to a study published in the Jan. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Statistics Reports.

Lara J. Akinbami, M.D., of the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues used data from the National Health Interview Survey, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the National Vital Statistics System to calculate national asthma estimates.

The investigators found that the asthma prevalence in the United States was 8.2 percent in 2009, with rates higher among females, children, individuals of non-Hispanic black and Puerto Rican race or ethnicity, those with family income below the poverty level, and individuals living in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Individuals with asthma missed 10.5 million school days and 14.2 million work days due to their asthma in 2008. In 2007, there were 1.75 million asthma-related emergency department visits and 456,000 hospitalizations for asthma, which were higher among females, children, and black individuals. There were 3,447 deaths from asthma in 2007 and a preliminary estimate of 3,395 deaths in 2008.

"Despite the high burden from adverse impacts, use of some asthma management strategies based on clinical guidelines for the treatment of asthma remained below the targets set by the Healthy People 2010 initiative," the authors write.

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