Is Your City Exacerbating Your Asthma?

More than 300 million people live with asthma, nearly 25 million in the United States. For many sufferers, it’s all tied to their environment. So where is the asthma capital, the place where more Americans suffer? Memphis, TN has been named the top Asthma Capital for 2012 by the Asthmas and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

What are the criteria?

Memphis moved up from #3 last year. To create the rankings, AAFA assessed the 100 largest US cities based on the biggest factors for complicating respiratory disorders: air pollution, ozone days, pollen counts, medication utilization, poverty rates, and public smoking laws, plus others coming to twelve categories total. These categories create the profile of the most asthma-unfriendly city.

Who else made the list?

1. Memphis
2. New Haven, CT
3. Knoxville, TN
4. Pittsburgh, PA
5. Chattanooga, TN
6. Hartford, CT
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Oklahoma City, OK
9. McAllen, TX
10. Allentown, PA

Things can get better!

While it may be difficult to change a pollen count, there are things you can do to improve your environment rather than picking up and moving. First, find a great doctor. No matter where you live, asthma can be managed medically. You don’t need to suffer. Second, advocate for change. Public smoking laws can be changed with public pressure. Pollution can be curbed with stronger laws and public awareness. Third, look for and contribute to asthma awareness causes. If more people know how their personal choices affect the health of others, they have the choice to make a change.

Source: AAFA
Photo: Max Pixel

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