Inflammation in the Airways
What Is Asthma?Asthma is a condition in which the airways of your lungs are chronically inflamed. Allergens or other triggers can cause the smooth muscle tissue that surrounds your airways to constrict (narrow). These triggers can also prompt an inflammatory response from the immune cells that line your airways, causing them to release an excessive amount of mucus. The constriction and the mucus narrow your airways, creating symptoms that can include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness.
Asthma StatisticsAsthma is one of the most common diseases in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 300 million people suffer from asthma globally and that it causes approximately a quarter of a million deaths every year. The prevalence of asthma is 8-10 times higher in developed countries than in developing countries. READ MORE
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 23 million people (8% of the total population, 7% of the adult population) in the US have asthma. In 2007, asthma accounted for about 3,500 deaths. Fortunately, since 2000, the death rate from asthma has decreased each year. Minority groups (blacks and Hispanics) have a higher rate of asthma than whites. Before puberty, three times as many boys as girls have asthma; during adolescence, the prevalence is equal. When asthma first occurs during adulthood, it’s more common in women than in men.
Children in particular are susceptible to asthma. In fact, asthma is epidemic among young people: it’s the most common chronic (long-term) disease of childhood. Over 7 million school-age children have asthma, about 1 out of 10 kids. Asthma is the number-three cause of hospitalization in children under the age of 15. And for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the rate of pediatric asthma is soaring. Asthma in children increased 75% in the two decades from 1980 to 1999. LESS