An Asthma Epidemic

In a new report from the CDC, they say that more Americans now have asthma than ever before,and experts don't understand why.
A key asthma trigger, such as cigarette smoke has become less present over the past decade. Cases of the disorder have shot up in every demographic category.

An Asthma Epidemic<br />

One in 12 adults & one in 10 children have asthma, and its overall prevalence is up 12% since 2001.
Black children are the hardest hit, with 17% suffering asthma symptoms.

Scientists are struggling to figure out what's behind the outbreak by examining potential environmental causes such as car exhaust, pesticides, chemicals in plastics, as well as lifestyle risks such as obesity.

Rachel Miller, director of the asthma project at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, tells The New York Times, "There's no easy singular explanation. The more we study this, the more it raises a lot of questions. It's not a straight forward puzzle at all."

Health officials say, there should be new emphasis on teaching asthma sufferers how to manage their symptoms, as asthma attacks kill thousands of people a year.

Health & Science
6 June 2011