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By Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – 3/1/2011

There is no place free from asthma triggers, and some cities are more challenging places to live than others. For the second year in a row, Richmond, VA, has been named the “Asthma Capital” in the research and ranking by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Virginia Beach ranked 8th. The annual Asthma Capitals report is a list of the 100 most challenging places to live with asthma.

Going South
Up from number fourteen in 2009, to number 1 in 2010, Richmond is again ranked as the top Asthma Capital in the 2011 report. The dubious honor for Richmond is due to a number of factors including a higher than average pollen score, continued poor air quality, a lack of public smoking bans, high poverty and uninsured rates, and others.

In fact, 14 cities in the top 25 of this year’s rankings are located in the south. The poor ranking of southern cities this year is due in large part to the slow adoption of “100% smoke-free” laws in southern tobacco-producing states and cities, as well as continued high levels of air pollution and ozone days, all considered major risk factors for people with asthma.

Don’t Move – Improve
More than 20 million children and adults live with asthma all over the U.S., making it one of the most common and costly diseases. Experts agree that people can’t move away from their asthma since every city in America has a variety of risk factors. Instead, people should work with an asthma specialist to improve their overall asthma management plan no matter where they live.

Top Asthma Capitals for 2011

1. Richmond,VA
2. Knoxville, TN
3. Memphis, TN
4. Chattanooga, TN
5. Tulsa, OK
6. St. Louis, MO
7. Augusta, GA
8. Virginia Beach, VA
9. Philadelphia, PA
10. Nashville, TN

The Asthma Capitals is an annual research project to call attention to the asthma epidemic and to advocate for changes in each city to improve the quality of life for people with asthma. Rankings are based on analysis of 12 factors in three groups:

• Prevalence Factors – morbidity and mortality statistics
• Risk Factors – air quality, pollen, “100% smoke-free” laws, poverty and more
• Medical Factors – medication usage and access to specialists

If you or your child live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, or Hampton Roads and may be suffering from asthma, please call us at any of our 3 locations listed below. Our asthma specialists are here to help you.

About Allergy & Asthma Specialists
Since 1951 the asthma specialists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists have been successfully treating adults and children in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and throughout Hampton Roads, where the climate is conducive to allergies and asthma problems. Our asthma specialists are specifically trained to create asthma management plans and more.