About 9.8 percent of Connecticut’s population suffers from asthma, according to the most recent estimate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s higher than the national average of 7 percent.
Connecticut’s Department of Public Health recently released data on where asthma-related emergencies and hospitalizations occurred between 2010 and 2014.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs, causing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness of the chest.
Asthma attacks have been linked by researchers to allergens, tobacco smoke, and indoor and outdoor pollution.
As a whole, Connecticut ranks 14th in the prevalence of asthma among adults.
Rhode Island leads the country with 12 percent of its population estimated to suffer from asthma. Connecticut’s current average of 9.8 percent is down from 11 percent in 2010.
The Department of Health geocoded about 77 percent of asthma-related events and equally weighted and redistributed the rest proportionally within each town across Connecticut.
The high rate of cases in some areas of Connecticut can be attributed to environmental factors such as proximity to a highway and air quality.
Rural areas, where residents are more likely to be burning wood or using incinerators, can also have high rates of asthma cases.
Reaction to mold in older homes can also trigger asthma attacks.