Health Status > Health Indicators
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the
airway characterized by episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness
of breath, and coughing. This disorder may be aggravated by allergens,
tobacco smoke and other irritants, exercise, and infections of the
respiratory tract. However, by taking certain precautions, persons
with asthma may be able to effectively manage this disorder and
participate in daily activities.
In 2004, women had higher rates of asthma than
men (82.7 versus 49.8 per 1,000 population, respectively); this
was true in every racial and ethnic group. Among women, non-Hispanic
Blacks had the highest asthma rate (92.7 per 1,000), followed by
women of other races (88.2 per 1,000); Asian women had the lowest
asthma rate (41.9 per 1,000).
Being hospitalized with asthma can be an indication
that the asthma is not effectively controlled. In 2004, asthmatic
women with lower family incomes were more likely than women with
higher family incomes to be hospitalized with asthma. Among women
with family incomes below 100 percent of the Federal poverty level
(FPL), 36.4 percent of those with asthma were hospitalized, compared
to 18.8 percent of asthmatic women with family incomes of 300 percent
of FPL and above.