Asthma: Dealing with
a growing epidemic

Asthma is a serious and growing health problem: An estimated 14.9 million persons in the United States have asthma. The number of Americans with asthma increased by 102 percent between 1979 and 1993, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Asthma is responsible for about 500,000 hospitalizations, 5,000 deaths, and 134 million days of restricted activity a year.

Environmental and occupational factors contribute to illness and disability from asthma. Decreases in lung function and a worsening of asthma have been associated with exposure to allergens, indoor pollutants (for example, tobacco smoke), and ambient air pollutants (for example, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, acid aerosols, and particulate matter).

For a comprehensive resource on asthma risks and prevention strategies, as well as more information on what is being done to reduce the problem, read:

  • Environmental Health WatchReport on asthma
  • Center for Disease ControlNational Asthma Control Program
  • EPA"Clear your home of asthma triggers"
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

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