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Am Fam Physician. 2005;71(1):197

CDC Report on Asthma

Asthma prevalence varies widely among different races, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Asthma Prevalence and Control Characteristics by Race/Ethnicity—United States, 2002” is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5307a1.htm.

Data from a telephone survey of U.S.adults showed that the highest rates of asthma occurred in non-Hispanics of multiple races (15.6 percent), American Indians and Alaska natives (11.6 percent), blacks (9.3 percent), and non-Hispanic whites (7.6 percent). The lowest rates were observed in Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (1.3 percent), Asians (2.9 percent), and Hispanics (5.0 percent).

Minorities also reported more emergency department (ED) visits for treatment of their asthma. Blacks and Hispanics were most likely to visit the ED (37.2 and 26.0 percent of current asthma patients, respectively); non-Hispanics of multiple races and whites had the lowest rates of ED visits for asthma treatment (13.5 and 14.5 percent, respectively).

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