Asthma: A Case Study

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Almost 10% of  the population of Michigan, over 870,000,  suffer from Asthma.  There has been a 15% increase in cases of Asthma since the late 1980s in the state of Michigan, USA.  The present cases involve approximately 290,000 adults and 100,000 children.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs.  The symptoms include coughing, wheezing, a shortness of breath and a tightness in the chest

beforeasthma

afterasthma

 

(Images are Public Domain: from FDA (USA))

A significant increase

There has been a 15% increase in cases of Asthma since the late 1980s in the state of Michigan, USA.  The present cases involve approximately 290,000 adults and 100,000 children.

Possible factors affecting the increase?

Doctors are investigating the possibility of genetic links to the staggering increase of cases of Asthma.  However, experts state that the high concentrations of soot and smog, and smoking in public places have contributed to the increase.  This is in addition to naturally occurring factors such as certain types of pollen.

Staggering Costs

There appears to be no concentrated effort to explore and research the underlying causes of this alarming increase. The state of Michigan is certainly losing vast amounts of money by the medical costs of emergency treatments and lost hours off  from work.   This amounts to over  $460 million per year

Measurements of Pollution

Certain designated areas within Michigan fail to meet the minimum requirements for reducing health risks from smog.  In some cases, the test results for soot particles in the air are as high as 10 percent to 25 percent above the limit.

Other measurements include those of  emissions from automobiles.  Diesel engines have been identified as contributing to greater levels of airborne pollution.  However, there have been significant advances in cleaner burning engines produced by manufacturers. There appears to more focus o­n the particulate and gaseous emissions from factories.

Amazingly for such a serious situation there appear to be few bans in place for smoking in public places.  Just ten counties in the state of Michigan have applied  bans o­n smoking in public places.  Yet, this does not include  bars and restaurants!

Find out more about Asthma in Michigan:

Antibiotics Linked to Asthma?

More about Asthma (Wikipedia)

Asthma Initiative of Michigan

http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339–13055–,00.html