Asthma rates rise, but at a slow pace, CDC finds

ATLANTA — Nationwide rates of asthma have been on the rise in recent years, though they’ve risen at a slow pace, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, released Wednesday, around 24.6 million people in the United States had asthma in 2009, meaning a prevalence of 8.2%. Rates have risen by around 1.2% per year since 2001, with asthma attack prevalence staying between 3.9% and 4.3% between 1997 and 2009.

Asthma prevalence also differs among demographic groups, according to the CDC. Among children and adolescents, boys have a higher prevalence than girls, with rates of 11.3% versus 7.9%, while children in general have higher prevalence than adults.

The report also noted that use of healthcare service was high for asthma, with 13.9 million visits to private physicians for asthma in 2007. In 2008, around 96% of people with asthma reported that a healthcare professional had taught them how to use their inhalers, but only 34% reported receiving an asthma management plan with instructions on how to change the amount of type of medicine they were taking.