September 5, 2001
The first state-by-state assessment of asthma prevalence was released Aug. 17, 2001, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No patterns for the disease, which is suspected to be influenced by environmental, demographic, and sociological factors, are immediately apparent to CDC researchers.
State-by-state incidence rates for the estimated 14.6 million current asthma sufferers vary widely, from 5% in Louisiana to nearly 9% in Maine. Rates for people who have ever had asthma are substantially higher, ranging from 8% in Louisiana to nearly 16% in Puerto Rico. Women consistently have much higher rates than men, blacks have higher rates than whites, and poorer people have higher rates than wealthier people. The data have a number of potential flaws, which CDC acknowledges, but they are the best available. CDC: Stephen Redd, 404-498-1019.