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AAFA’s 2022 Asthma Capitals™ Report Highlights the Most Challenging Places in the U.S. to Live With Asthma

In September, asthma attacks and hospitalizations are higher than any other time of year. This is called the September Asthma Epidemic. During this critical month, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released the 2022 Asthma Capitals™ report. This report analyzes data from the 100 largest cities in the U.S. to identify the most challenging places to live with asthma. Detroit, Michigan, tops the list for 2022.

How Are the Asthma Capitals Ranked?

Knowing what puts someone at higher risk for asthma is an important part of understanding and treating the disease. Factors that impact asthma outcomes can vary from one city to another. The Asthma Capitals report ranks each city based on these factors:

  • Asthma prevalence (or occurrence)
  • Asthma-related emergency room visits
  • Asthma-related deaths

A list of AAFA's Asthma Capitals - the top 10 most challenging places in the U.S. to live with asthma

The top 10 Asthma Capitals for 2022 are:

  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. Cleveland, Ohio
  3. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  4. Lakeland, Florida
  5. Fresno, California
  6. Charleston, South Carolina
  7. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  8. Poughkeepsie, New York
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Baltimore, Maryland

The report also highlights risk factors that can influence asthma outcomes:

  • Poverty
  • Lack of health insurance
  • Air pollution
  • Pollen counts
  • Smoking laws
  • Lack of access to asthma specialists

This year’s Asthma Capitals report continues to highlight the ongoing health disparities related to asthma prevalence, health care use, and mortality. The report reviews some of the work we’ve done through our Health Equity Advancement and Leadership (HEAL) program. Spotlights in the report show how local action is improving asthma outcomes in areas such as Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and New York City.

How Can We Improve Asthma Outcomes?

Even though some factors that impact asthma may be out of our control, there are some steps we can all take to improve asthma outcomes. The Asthma Capitals report identifies small steps that law makers, local and federal officials, health care providers, and people with asthma and their caregivers can take to help improve asthma in their communities.

Advocate for Policies That Protect People With Asthma

Through your vote, you can support asthma-friendly policies in local, state, and national elections. When following local elections, look for proposals or policies on topics such as emissions, public smoking, clean air, traffic, and manufacturing. Laws on these topics can impact asthma rates and outcomes.

Talk to local leaders about asthma in their communities and ask them to consider supporting policies that benefit people with asthma.

Learn About Managing Asthma

Managing asthma involves a multi-step approach. This involves taking asthma medicine and limiting exposure to your asthma triggers. Work with an asthma specialist to come up with the best plan for you. AAFA offers free resources to help:

Support AAFA’s Mission

Your gift can help us continue to support families and advocate on behalf of communities impacted by asthma.

The 2022 Asthma Capitals™ report is an independent research project of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and made possible by support from Sanofi and Regeneron.

How Can I Learn More About the Report?

AAFA publishes the Asthma Capitals report to raise awareness about the nationwide impacts of asthma. The report analyzes data from across the continental United States and ranks the 100 largest cities by how challenging they are to live with asthma.

Visit to see the full list and to learn more about asthma management and risk factors.

Join our online community where you can get support for asthma and allergies and stay up to date on news and research.


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