abc
QUICK LINKS:

Asthma Rates Drop but Experts Not Breathing Easier


By: MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - A new survey suggests asthma in the U.S. may finally be on the decline. But the results are so surprising that health officials are cautious about claiming a downturn.

"I wouldn't say it's good news - yet," said the study's lead author, Jeannine Schiller of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings come from a large national health survey conducted last year. The drop could just be an unexplained statistical blip, and Schiller said she's waiting for data from this year before proclaiming asthma is on the decline.

The CDC released the report Thursday.

For the past few years, about 8.6 percent of Americans have said they have asthma. But in last year's survey, 7.4 percent said they currently had it. That was the lowest mark in a decade, and represents a decline of more than 3 million people.

The largest declines were seen in black children and women.

There was also a drop in those who said they'd had an asthma attack or episode in the past year. The number fell from 4.4 percent in 2012 to 3.8 percent last year - the lowest mark in more than 15 years.

The new survey involved in-person interviews of more than 47,000 Americans and covered both adults and children.

Asthma can cause bouts of coughing, wheezing, and chest pain. Experts aren't sure what causes it, but asthma attacks can be triggered by things like tobacco smoke, air pollution, pollen, and cockroaches. Studies have pointed at decrepit housing and climate change as some of the possible reasons for the increase in asthma seen in the past decade.

The disease can be controlled through medication. Some studies have shown a gradual decline in the percentage of asthma patients who said they suffered an attack in the previous year.

Experts say there's been no recent major advance in asthma treatment or improvement in the environment that would account for the latest figures.

"Nationally, I'm not aware of anything that would explain these statistics," said Dr. Karen Freedle, an Emory University specialist in pediatric asthma.

___

Online: CDC report

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Front Page

  • Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction

    Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year.  With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year

  • Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before

    A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home. 

  • Funding for Military Funeral Personnel Restored

    On Thursday, Rep. Rick Nolan received a letter from the Secretary of the Army that funding for the playing of "Taps," a rifle salute, and delivering a folded American flag will be restored.

  • Preparing for Ebola: Health System Working Together

    People who work in the Northland's health system are communicating on a regular basis, to prepare for Ebola, even though it's unlikely to appear here.

  • St. Luke's Honored by American Heart Association

    St. Luke's received three honors from the American Heart Association on Thursday, for their approach and teamwork when taking care of heart and stroke patients.

 

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Iron
Expires: 10/31/2014 11:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Ontonagon; Southern Houghton
Expires: 10/31/2014 12:00 PM

Lakeshore Flood Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Alger; Baraga; Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Marquette; Ontonagon
Expires: 10/31/2014 2:00 PM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement