U.S. States With the Highest Asthma Rates

U.S. States With the Highest Asthma Rates

Asthma is an inflammatory lung disease that’s chronic in nature. It affects breathing by causing the airways to narrow and swell and produce excess mucus. Asthma causes a range of breathing issues by triggering bouts of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. While there is no cure for asthma, it can be managed with medication and avoiding triggers such as dust, air pollution (i.e., exhaust), pets, mold/mildew, tobacco smoke and allergies.

The environment plays a huge role in asthma symptoms. The following U.S. states have the highest asthma rates and are considered troublesome for residents who struggle with asthma and breathing-related issues:

1. Ohio
The state of Ohio celebrates Asthma Awareness Month in May. There are over 1 million people in the state who have been diagnosed with asthma. Children represent 46.5% of the population with asthma. The state manages its asthma programs by placing the national asthma plan to its citizens, hospitals, medical facilities, workplaces, and schools.

2. Kentucky
The state has the fourth-highest (10.4%) adult asthma conditions in the U.S. The state’s Department for Public Health has developed a public/private partnership called the “Kentucky Asthma Partnership.” This partnership is called EXHALE which stands for the following:

  • E – Education on asthma
  • X – Extinguish smoking and secondhand smoke
  • H – Home visits for children and adults to identify potential triggers
  • A – Achievement of guidelines based on medical management
  • L – Linking and the coordination of health care through all settings
  • E – Environmental policies and best practice policies to lessen asthma triggers. These triggers are being managed from sources like the air, occupational air, diesel school buses, and residential environmental assistance.

3. Michigan
The state of Michigan manages its asthma programs based on the national government’s GIST policy (The Asthma Guideline Implementation Steps and Tools). The state’s Department of Community Health designed a team of experts in asthma to manage the state’s programs. Nearly 10% of the state’s population has been identified as asthma sufferers.

4. Massachusetts
Nearly one out of every eleven people in the state have been diagnosed with asthma. In other words, 10.2% of adults and 12.9% of children are allergy sufferers. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Asthma Prevention and Control (APCP) is a statewide partnership. It is designed to improve the quality of life for all Commonwealth residents with asthma and to reduce disparities in asthma outcomes. As a result, the APCP collaborates with nearby state agencies, public health, and community partners. This partnership is known as the Asthma Action Partnership (MAAP).

5. Virginia
One out of every ten adults has been diagnosed with asthma. Unfortunately, this involves the morbidity rate impacts medical care and the management of the disease. The state’s asthma data (8.7%) is slightly higher than the U.S. rate of 8.6%. Virginia’s management plan addresses triggers.

6. Pennsylvania
Adult asthma was 9.3% compared to the U.S. rate of 13.3%. For children, the asthma rate was 13.7% compared to the U.S. rate of 13.3%. Children who live near and around steel mills, power plants, and other industries of air pollutants have tripled the national rate of childhood asthma. The state’s American Lung Association and the Pennsylvania Asthma Partnership collaborated with the Department of Health on addressing the state’s high asthma rates. The state developed The Breath Project to work on exposing triggers and providing more medical care to its residents. A “surveillance” system for asthma is working hard in the state to enhance public policy for improving asthma care.

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