CDC: Asthma rate in US up a little to 8.2 pct

Jan 12, 2011 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- Asthma seems to be increasing a little, and nearly one in 12 Americans now say they have the respiratory disease, federal health officials said Wednesday

About 8.2 percent of Americans had in a 2009 national survey of about 40,000 individuals. That's nearly 25 million people with asthma, according to a report.

The rate had been holding steady at a little under 8 percent for the previous four years.

Better diagnostic efforts could be part of the reason for the increase. They were believed to be a main reason for an increase in asthma seen from 1980 through 1995, said Dr. Lara Akinbami, a medical officer at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Asthma is a chronic disease involving attacks of impaired breathing. Symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, and . It can be fatal: Health officials estimate more than 3,000 U.S. asthma deaths occur each year.

But treatment seems to be improving, with 52 percent of asthma patients in the 2009 survey saying they suffered an attack in the previous year, down from 60 percent at the beginning of the decade.

Asthma is more common among women than men. It's also more common in children, blacks, Puerto Ricans, people living below the poverty level, and people in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the CDC.

Explore further: Ebola fight will cost $1.0bn, 20,000 cases on horizon: UN

More information: CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

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geokstr
1 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2011
Better diagnostic efforts could be part of the reason for the increase.

I wonder how much is due to the "hypochondria effect" (TM), where now that it's all over the news, a marginal number of people think "Oh noes! That must be what I have". Or how much is due to the inevitable broadening of what can be called "asthma", as happened with autism, and the thoroughly phony ADD/ADHD? We'll call that one the "bandwagon effect" (TM).

Or how much is due to the "shyster effect" (TM), in effect - somebody has something wrong with them, and we have to find somebody else with really deep pockets and make them PAY. (With a piddling 60% to ourselves for our efforts to help these poor suffering b*st*rds.)