As the number of people with asthma continues to grow, federal health authorities say the top priority is to help people manage their symptoms better.
Nearly one in 12 Americans were diagnosed with asthma in 2009, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 2001 and 2009, the number of people with asthma increased by 4.3 million.
What is causing more people to have asthma is unknown.
Thousands of people die every year from asthma, a lifelong illness that causes wheezing, coughing, inability to breath and chest tightness.
But with proper asthma education and services, people can learn to reduce their symptoms by avoiding asthma triggers. They can also control their asthma by learning from their doctor how to correctly use medicines, such as inhaled corticosteroids.
“We have to do a better job educating people about managing their symptoms and how to correctly use medicines to control asthma so they can live longer, more productive lives while saving health care costs.” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, in a news release.
Some asthma triggers include:
- tobacco smoke
- outdoor air pollution
- infections linked to influenza, cold-like symptoms and viruses
- pet dander
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