According to a CDC report, the number of people diagnosed with asthma grew by 4.3 million from 2001 to 2009, with costs rising from about $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007. Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths in 2007.
Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. People with asthma can control their symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by avoiding asthma triggers (such as second-hand smoke, mold, and outdoor air pollution) and correctly using prescribed medicines, such as inhaled corticosteroids. In 2008, less than half of people with asthma reported being taught how to avoid triggers and almost half (48%) of adults who were taught how to avoid triggers did not follow most of this advice.
About 25 million people in the U.S. had asthma in 2009, compared with about 20 million in 2001. 53% of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack. 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007. About 10% of children had asthma and 8% of adults had asthma in 2009. Women were more likely than men and boys more likely than girls to have asthma.
About 11% non-Hispanic blacks of all ages and about 17% of non-Hispanic black children had asthma in 2009, the highest rate among racial/ethnic groups. The greatest rise in asthma rates was among black children (almost a 50% increase) from 2001 through 2009.
Asthma cost the US about $3,300 per person with asthma each year from 2002 to 2007 in medical expenses, missed school and work days, and early deaths. 59% of children and 33% of adults who had an asthma attack missed school or work because of asthma in 2008. On average, in 2008 children missed 4 days of school and adults missed 5 days of work because of asthma.
Medical expenses associated with asthma increased from $48.6 billion in 2002 to $50.1 billion in 2007. About 40% of uninsured people with asthma could not afford their prescription medicines and about 11% of insured people with asthma could not afford their prescription medicines.
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