Doctor visits rise for youths with asthma; deaths decline

From Reuters

More U.S. children are seeing doctors for asthma, although already-low death rates from the condition have fallen even more, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday.

In 2005, 6.5 million children, or nearly 9% of Americans younger than 18, had asthma, according to the report from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Between 1999 and 2004, the death rate for asthma among children fell to 2.5 from 3.2 deaths per 1 million children, the study found.

In 2003, 4,055 people died from asthma but just 195 children did.

The number of asthma-related visits to the doctor rose to 89 visits per 1,000 children in 2004 from fewer than 40 visits per 1,000 in 1990.

Massachusetts, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Maryland and Rhode Island had the highest percentages of asthmatic children in 37 states the CDC reviewed. States with the lowest percentages were Utah, California, Iowa, Tennessee and Washington, according to the report.

The CDC said that in 2005, 4.2% of the entire U.S. population, adults and children, had asthma.

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