Atlanta among top 10 cities for asthma

Every day in America …

44,000 people have an asthma attack.

36,000 kids miss school due to asthma.

27,000 adults miss work due to asthma.

4,700 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.

1,200 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.

9 people die from asthma.

Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

The 10 worst cities for asthma

1. Richmond, Va.

2. Chattanooga, Tenn.

3. Memphis, Tenn.

4. Philadelphia

5. Oklahoma City

6. Detroit

7. Dayton, Ohio

8. McAllen, Texas

9. Atlanta

10. Knoxville, Tenn.

Atlanta is among the top 10 on a list of Asthma Capitals chosen by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The foundation ranks cities yearly based on the prevalence of asthma, environmental risk factors and usage of medical services. Atlanta came in at No. 9. Risk factors contributing to Atlanta’s placement include poor air quality, worse-than-average smoke-free laws, rates of insurance and poverty, and a fewer than average number of asthma specialists.

Asthma affects nearly one in 10 children, according to the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Georgia Department of Public Health says one of every eight adults also suffers from it. The disease causes airways to become inflamed and narrow, which may result in wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. It killed an average of 104 Georgians a year between 2000 and 2008.

The Department of Public Health reports that in 2010, there were 2,965 asthma-related hospitalizations of children up to 17 years old in the state, as well as 25,930 emergency room visits for children. The total cost for that care was estimated at $70 million.

According to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, asthma is the leading cause of hospital admissions among chronic children’s diseases.