According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 24.6 million Americas have asthma. The rate of asthma has increased to 8.2 percent of Americans.
Previously the CDC’s Surveillance of Asthma study said the prevalence of asthma increased 75 percent from 1980-1994.
Asthma involves chronic attacks of impaired breathing. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and chest pain. Also, asthma can be fatal. Health officials estimate more than 3,000 U.S. asthma deaths occur each year.
Federal health officials said asthma seems to be increasing little by little and early one in 12 Americans have been diagnosed with the chronic respiratory disease.
The rate had been holding steady and just below 8 percent for the previous four years.
The CDC states asthma is more common among women than men. However, the percentage of individuals with asthma was found to be higher than the national average among specific groups, including children, blacks, and people living below the poverty level, people in the Northeast and Midwest, and Puerto Ricans.
Puerto Rico has one of the highest asthma rates in the world. This year, Puerto Rico has seen a jump in asthma cases. Some health officials suspect the increase might be linked to the heavy rains that have unleashed an unusual high count of spores.
Puerto Rican children are nearly 300 percent more likely to have the respiratory ailment than white non-Hispanic children in the mainland United States.
The island, with a population of nearly 4 million, has 2.5 times the death rate stemming from asthma as the mainland, according to the CDC.
Unfortunately, Puerto Rican children do not respond as well as those from other ethnic groups to the number one medication prescribed to asthmatics - Albuterol. Albuterol comes in an inhaler and is used to relieve sudden attacks.
The authors noted that, in 2007, emergency rooms across the United States saw 1.75 million asthma-related visits and 456,000 asthma-related hospitalizations.
By 2008, asthma patients were missing 14.2 million days of work each year, as well as 10.5 million school days, the report stated.