Suffering from asthma is no joke and can lead to severe consequences, and given the list of things that make the disease harder to manage, it’s pretty obvious there will be locations where it’s easier to live, such as the 11 best cities to live for people with Asthma.
Over 330 million people suffer from asthma, a report from the Global Asthma Network reveals. This means that all these people risk their lives every day by simply breathing, something most of us take for granted. The disease causes the swelling of the airway, which narrows the airways carrying the air to the lungs.
Allergens are particularly bad for asthma patients and can trigger its symptoms, such as trouble breathing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and coughing. For some, asthma is deadly, and the worst part is that there is no cure, only prevention and treatment. About 24 million of those 330 million people with asthma live in the United States and the number just keeps on rising as pollution grows.
The Centers for Disease Control says that asthma is the leading chronic disease in children, being the top reason for missed school days and that it is more common in adult women than men. It is also more common in children than adults, which makes it somehow even worse. About 2 million emergency room visits each year are caused by asthma attacks, so it’s all pretty serious. Every day, ten Americans die from asthma, and many of these deaths would have been avoidable with proper treatment and care.
There are many triggers for people living with asthma – allergens, tobacco smoke, air pollution, respiratory infections, the flu, and even exercise. The most common allergens are dust mites, cockroaches, pollens, molds, pet dander, and rodents, but also cigarette smoke and air pollution, such as smog, which is everywhere around us unless we live in the mountains. These 11 Countries With the Best Climate in the World would also be great for asthma patients, although more in-depth research needs to be done about all other triggers.
For today’s list, we took into consideration several reports. The first is the Asthma Capitals for 2015 report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America which compares and ranks the 100 largest US metro areas by taking into account a large number of risk factors.
For instance, the report considers the asthma prevalence and the crude death rate for asthma patients, the annual pollen score, air quality, laws against smoking in public, the poverty rate, the school inhaler access law, as well as several medical factors, such as the number of specialists in the area.
Then, we also took a look at the state of the air across the United States, by checking out the American Lung Association data. From here, we checked which were the cleanest US cities for ozone air pollution and which were the top 25 cleanest US cities for year-round particle pollution, which is particularly harmful to asthma patients.
After handing out points depending on their position on the Asthma Capitals list, we rewarded cities with extra points if they were on the list of cities with the least pollution. That being said, these are the 11 best cities to live for people with asthma.
11. Austin, Texas
Score – 21
Austin, Texas, has managed to land on the 91st spot out of 100 cities in the USA where it’s worse to live with asthma. This is a place where the situation is better than average when it comes to the estimated asthma prevalence and the crude death rate for asthma patients. It’s also a city that has good air quality and laws permitting inhaler access in schools. The only areas where Austin sits badly is in the annual pollen score and the uninsured rate.
10. Des Moines, Iowa
Score – 21
Next up is Des Moines, Iowa, a city that’s on the 86th place on the list of worst cities to live in if you’ve been diagnosed with asthma. Des Moines has three areas where it’s in a worse spot than other cities across America – the annual pollen score, use of quick relief meds, and the use of control meds. Other than that, the city scores pretty well, especially in areas such as air quality, uninsured rate, ER visits for asthma-related issues, and even the estimate asthma prevalence rate. The city is also on the list of cities with the lowest ozone air pollution in the United States.
9. Raleigh, North Carolina
Score – 22
Next up on our list of best cities to live for people with Asthma is Raleigh, North Carolina. This city managed to land on the 92nd spot on the list of worst cities to live in the USA if you have asthma, which is great news because this time it’s best if you come last. Raleigh scored great in several categories, such as the death rate for people with asthma and the annual pollen score, as well as the air quality and a number of specialists living and working in the area. It didn’t do that great when it comes to laws against public smoking and the uninsured rate, while the number of ER visits for asthma seemed to be a bit too high.
8. Abilene, Texas
Score – 26
Ranking 96th on the worst cities to live in America if you have asthma, Abilene, Texas does quite well in many categories in the aforementioned chart. For instance, the asthma prevalence rate is rather low compared to other cities, and so is the number of ER visits for asthma-related issues and even the use of control meds for such problems. It did score badly when it comes to the annual pollen quantities and the uninsured rate, as well as the number of specialists living and working in local hospitals and clinics.
7. San Jose, California
Score – 27
Up next on our list of best cities to live for people with Asthma is San Jose, California, a city that’s 97th on the list of locations across America that are worst for asthma patients. In fact, San Jose does well in most categories, including death rate for people with asthma, annual pollen score, poverty rate, uninsured rate, ER visits for asthma-related issues and med use. They even have plenty of specialists to take care of you should the need arise, and laws against public smoking.
6. Seattle, Washington
Score – 28
One of the largest cities in the US is up next on our list of best cities to live for people with Asthma. Seattle, Washington scored 98th on the list of cities worst for people with asthma. The only area where Seattle scored worse than other cities is the self-reported asthma prevalence category. On the other end, Seattle has a low death rate for asthma patients, a low annual pollen score, high air quality, low poverty rate and uninsured rate and doctors did not report a high number of asthma cases in the ER.
5. Sarasota, Florida
Score – 28
Up next on our list of best cities to live for people with Asthma is Sarasota, Florida, a city that scored 93rd on the list of the worst cities to live in if you have asthma. It had low scores in several categories, mostly because the number of people with no medical insurance is pretty high and there’s a low number of specialists working in the area. There’s also no law banning public smoking, which can be a serious issue for people with asthma. Sarasota received an extra point for being on the list of the cleanest US cities for year-round particle pollution, ranking 15th on that list.
4. Boise, Idaho
Score – 39
Up next on our list of best cities to live for people with Asthma is Boise, Idaho, ranking 99th out of 100 on the list of cities worst for asthma patients, which is great. In fact, apart from a few “average” scores, Boise did more than ok in most categories. It has a low death rate for people with asthma, a low annual pollen score, low poverty rate and their number of uninsured people is relatively low compared to other cities. There were also few ER visits for asthma-related health issues, which is great news.
3. Palm Bay, Florida
Score – 30
Another Florida city is up next on the list of best cities to live for people with Asthma. Palm Bay scored 95 on the list of cities that are the worst for people suffering from asthma. The only reasons it got some bad scores were the number of people without a medical insurance and the fact that it doesn’t have a complete ban on public smoking. Palm Bay also received some extra points for scoring sixth on the list of the 25 cleanest US cities for year-round particle pollution.
2. San Francisco, California
Score – 30
San Francisco, California is a dream town for more than one reason, it seems. The city actually landed on the last spot among the cities worst for people with asthma. In fact, the only area where it got a low score was the number of specialists working in the area. It got stellar scores for the annual pollen levels, air quality, poverty rate and the uninsured rate. There are laws in place banning public smoking, and there’s easy access for students to get inhalers in case they need it.
1. Cape Coral, Florida
Score – 34
At the top of the list is Cape Coral, Florida. Even though it “only” landed on the 94th spot on the list of cities worst for people with asthma, it received some extra points for air quality, but we’ll get to that in a bit. In the Asthma Capitals report for 2015, Cape Coral got low scores in two categories. One of them was because of the number of people with no medical insurance, and another was the lack of a complete public smoking ban. The Floridian city is on the list of the cleanest US cities for ozone air pollution and also scored 13th on the list of cleanest US cities for year-round particle pollution, which is great news.
That being said, these have been the 11 best cities to live for people with asthma.