Roni Caryn Rabin writes in the New York Times:
Americans are suffering from asthma in record numbers, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one in 10 children and almost one in 12 Americans of all ages now has asthma, government researchers said.
According to the report, from 2001 to 2009 the prevalence of asthma increased among all demographic groups studied, including men, women, whites, blacks and Hispanics. Black children are most acutely affected: the study found that 17 percent of black children — nearly one in five — had a diagnosis of asthma in 2009, up from 11.4 percent, or about one in nine, in 2001.
While officials at the Centers for Disease Control emphasized that asthma could be controlled if managed effectively, they were at a loss to explain why it had become more widespread even as important triggers like cigarette smoking had become less common.