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Asthma Death Rate Among Kids Down

But report also finds doctor's visits have more than doubled

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma deaths among American children have declined since 1999, but rates of doctor visits for asthma have more than doubled over the past decade, says a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday.

In 2005, 9 percent of American children under age 18 (6.5 million) had asthma, compared to 3.6 percent in 1980 and 7.5 percent in 1995, said the report, State of Childhood Asthma, United States: 1980-2005.

Among the report's highlights:

  • Asthma death rates increased steadily between 1980 and 1998, but for the most part have declined since 1999, when asthma accounted for 3.2 deaths per one million children. In 2004, the rate was 2.5 deaths per one million.
  • In the early 1990s, asthma accounted for less than 40 doctor visits per 1,000 children. In 2004, the rate was 89 visits per 1,000 children.
  • Puerto Rican and non-Hispanic black children have the highest asthma rates, 19.2 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.
  • Data from 2003 showed that children with at least one asthma attack in the previous year (nearly 4 million children) missed a cumulative total of 12.8 million school days due to asthma.
  • Rates of asthma-related emergency department visits for children remained fairly stable from 1992 (103 visits per 10,000 children) to 2004 (97.6 visits per 10,000 children).
  • An analysis of data from 37 states found that Massachusetts, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Maryland and Rhode Island had the highest rates of childhood asthma. Utah, California, Iowa, Tennessee and Washington had the lowest rates.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about childhood asthma.

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Dec. 12, 2006
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