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AAFA’s 2023 Asthma Capitals™ Report Highlights the Most Challenging Places in the U.S. to Live With Asthma

Do you notice more asthma symptoms, or even attacks, during September? If so, you aren’t alone. Each September, asthma attacks and hospital stays increase. This is called Asthma Peak Month (or the September Asthma Epidemic). The third week of September – Asthma Peak Week – is the worst.

To bring awareness to Asthma Peak Month, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released the 2023 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. Allentown, Pennsylvania, is #1 for 2023.

How Are the 2023 Asthma Capitals Ranked?

Asthma Capitals report ranks each city based on these factors:

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

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

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

2023 Asthma Capitals - A map of the United States with lists of the most challenging and least challenging cities to live in with asthma

The top 10 Asthma Capitals for 2023 are:

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

How Can We Improve Asthma Outcomes?

It is AAFA’s goal that the 2023 Asthma Capitals report inspires action. It is possible to reduce asthma rates and deaths. And this report highlights where we can focus our efforts for healthier environments and communities.

Spotlights in this year’s Asthma Capitals report highlight the ongoing health disparities related to asthma, how to improve asthma outcomes, and how you can advocate in your community and state for people with asthma and allergies.

Reducing Health Disparities

AAFA’s Health Equity Advancement and Leadership (HEAL) program reinforces AAFA’s commitment to drastically reduce health disparities in communities that bear the heaviest burden of asthma. Through the HEAL program, AAFA provides funding and resources to local pilot programs tailored to at-risk populations most impacted by asthma.

Taking Steps to Improve Asthma Outcomes

AAFA is committing our resources to programs and policies with the aim to drastically reduce asthma rates, deaths, and disparities, as well as their impact on people and communities. We urge multiple stakeholders to join us to work together to improve and save lives.

Taking Action Through Advocacy and Policy

Advocacy is a critical part of AAFA’s mission to save lives and reduce the burden of disease for people with asthma, allergies, and related diseases. This year, AAFA is calling on our community to join us in these advocacy efforts – including at the state and local levels.

Your voice is critical to help build awareness in your community and to educate your elected officials who can lead change.

Support AAFA’s Mission

You can help improve asthma outcomes by donating to AAFA. Your gift helps fund our work to raise awareness about asthma and support programs that build healthier communities and reduce asthma disparities. Together, we can build a future where everyone can breathe easier.


How Can I Learn More 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:

The 2023 Asthma Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA and is made possible by a grant 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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  • 2023 Asthma Capitals - A map of the United States with lists of the most challenging and least challenging cities to live in with asthma: 2023 Asthma Capitals - A map of the United States with lists of the most challenging and least challenging cities to live in with asthma

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