Asthma rate among US kids has fallen significantly since 2013, report reveals.
Asthma became a serious concern for US health officials as a large number of children have been diagnosed with the chronic disease in the last few decades. But finally the asthma rate has leveled off and has started to drop significantly in the last two years, according to latest report. However, asthma among poor kids and those who are aged 10 to 17 have increased to some extent.
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Asthma is a chronic lung disease which causes difficulty in breathing and results in recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.
According to report published in the journal Pediatrics, childhood asthma doubled between 1980 and 1995. Subsequent analysis showed a continued but slower increase in childhood asthma from 2001 to 2011, 8.7% to 9.7% respectively. It was followed by a decline in 2013 when it hit the mark of 8.3%. Though, rate varied among regions, races and ages. African-American and Hispanic kids were more diagnosed with asthma than white children.
"Trends in childhood asthma have recently stopped increasing," said Dr. Lara Akinbami, who is associated with U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. "This is mainly due to the leveling off of prevalence among black children, who previously had large increases in the prevalence of asthma. However, more years of data are needed to clarify if asthma prevalence among children will continue to decline, or if it will plateau around current levels."
Decline in recent years was observed mostly in children under 5 and Midwesterners. The rate plateaued among those living in the Northeast and West but an increase was seen in those aged 10 to 17, kids from poor families and those living in the South.
Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children in United States. On average, in a classroom of 30 children, about 3 are likely to have asthma. Asthma causes are still uncertain but experts believe that asthma attacks are triggered by an array of factors including air pollution, obesity, tobacco smoke, mold and dust mites premature birth and respiratory infections.
But asthma rate can be declined further with awareness and less exposure to air pollution.
Dr. Jeffrey Biehler from Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami said. “We need to continue decreasing environmental exposures and help children at every level to reduce their chances of having asthma.”
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