Nearly 8 percent of Americans have asthma, estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim. The findings were included in a report titled “Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use, and Mortality: United States, 2005-2009”, which showcases an overall outline of current asthma trends by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The team for the study was led by Dr. Lara J. Akinbami from the Office of Analysis and Epidemiology at the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the CDC. Authors of the study found that 24.6 million Americans—that’s 8.2 percent—are diagnosed with asthma. The overall percentage is higher than the national averages found for specific groups, such as women, African-Americans, children, and Puerto Ricans.

Individuals who have a standard of living that is below the poverty line have higher rates of asthma. Also, individuals that live in the Northeast and the Midwest followed the same trend.

Dr. Jonathan Field, director of the allergy and asthma clinic at the New York University School of Medicine, believes that there may be a reporting bias amongst the medical community.

“The issue is that people living in poorer communities are more likely to get care for their asthma in emergency rooms and academic centers, whereas wealthier individuals often get seen in a private practice setting, which don’t always report their figures as readily,” he told HealthDay News.

“But unfortunately there are also a lot of things in poorer communities and inner cities, where you see larger minority populations that make asthma more of an issue. Some of the trends could have a genetic component. But socioeconomics certainly plays a role as, for example, regards access to care and the ability or inability to afford medicines. So there are certainly a lot of things at work here.”

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