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AAFA Releases 2019 Asthma Capitals™ Report Ranking the Top 100 Most Challenging Places in the U.S. to Live With Asthma

Many factors can affect who has asthma, a chronic disease that causes airway inflammation. Personal factors like genetics and medical history can play a role. But other factors, like air pollution, poverty, pollen and the number of asthma specialists, can affect asthma management.

On May 7, 2019, World Asthma Day, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released its 2019 Asthma Capitals Report™. This report ranks the top 100 most challenging places in America to live with asthma.

What Is in the Report?

We created this report to show how community factors can drive up asthma rates and how we need to all work together to decrease them. We ranked each city based on these asthma outcomes:

For 2019, Springfield, Massachusetts, is the #1 Asthma Capital for the second year in a row. In this year’s report, we share interviews with a Springfield resident, a health care provider and legislators to show how asthma affects the area. We also highlight how the city is working to reduce asthma rates.

Here are the top 10 Asthma Capitals:

  1. Springfield, Massachusetts
  2. Dayton, Ohio
  3. Greensboro, North Carolina
  4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  5. Cleveland, Ohio
  6. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  7. Louisville, Kentucky
  8. Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Omaha, Nebraska
  10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

To see the full list of Top 100 Asthma Capitals, download our report.

The report also looks at our nation’s “Asthma Belts” – the top 20 cities clustered in the eastern United States where asthma rates are high.

What Can You Do About Asthma Rates in Your Area?

When you look at this report, you may think you can’t do anything to affect asthma rates in your area. But you actually can. If we all work together, we can find solutions to help people in these areas breathe easier.

Learn to Control Your Asthma

Asthma control is an ongoing effort. If you have asthma, use our report to learn what impacts your area. Then work with an asthma specialist to find out how to avoid your triggers and get the right treatment. Use AAFA’s resources to help continue your asthma management.

You can learn about managing asthma through AAFA’s free asthma resources such as our:

Share AAFA Resources With Others

More than 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. So there’s a good chance you know someone with asthma. You can also help others learn about proper asthma management by sharing our free asthma resources above.

Be an Asthma Advocate

One of the easiest things you can do is vote for asthma-friendly policies, both locally and nationally. Watch local elections for the chance to vote on laws on topics like emissions, public smoking, clean air, traffic and manufacturing.

Some local leaders may not even know about asthma rates in their areas. You can share our report with them so they know asthma is a community concern. You can also encourage others in your area to share the report.

Reduce Your Personal Contribution to Air Pollution

Little changes in your daily routine can help reduce air pollution. You can:

  • Walk or bike
  • Use public transportation or carpools
  • Switch to cleaner energy
  • Reduce food waste
  • Reduce meat consumption and replace with plant-based meals
  • Use LED lights and turn them off when not in use
  • Use a smart thermostat to optimize heating/cooling
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

Support AAFA’s Mission

A simple donation can go a long way to help us continue to create education, support people with asthma and advocate for better protections for people with asthma.

The 2019 Asthma Capitals™ report is an independent research project of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America with sponsorship from Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron.

Are you dealing with asthma symptoms? Join our community to chat with others who have asthma. And follow our blog for more news and tips on managing your asthma symptoms.


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