Written by Sydney Cobb
As a disease with no cure that most chronically affects children, asthma bullies parents, doctors, and public health professionals with its unpredictable flare-ups. From 1980 to 1995, asthma rates in the US doubled and at its peak, asthma affected 7.5% of Americans according to the CDC.
The reason for these trends is unknown, as is the cause and prevention of asthma itself. But a new study published in Pediatrics sheds light on some hopeful new trends in the asthma department and found that, overall, “Current asthma prevalence ceased to increase among children in recent years.”
Asthma still targets certain groups, namely children, females, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, and multi-race individuals. Those living in poverty are at higher risk as well. Though Puerto Rican children still face the highest asthma rates, they plateaued from 2001-2013 along with black children, and 5- to 9-year-olds. In fact, rates even decreased among the nonpoor, Mexican children, and 0- to 4-year olds.
So can we finally breathe easy? If the last 13 years are any indication, rates are still high, just stable. “Additional years of data will be necessary to more definitively discern if increasing trends have ceased or reversed,” wrote study researchers.