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Asthma Can Be Lethal for Some Nevadans

PHOTO: About 30 Nevada residents die each year from asthma, and the disease is also among the leading chronic illnesses for children. While there is no cure for asthma, National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month offers information on living with the disease. Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
PHOTO: About 30 Nevada residents die each year from asthma, and the disease is also among the leading chronic illnesses for children. While there is no cure for asthma, National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month offers information on living with the disease. Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
May 14, 2015

LAS VEGAS - The word "asthma" may bring to mind an image of a sick child with an inhaler, but in reality asthma affects about one in 12 Americans – and kills about 30 people in Nevada every year.

Creating more awareness about asthma is the goal of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, held each May.

Linda Lewis, a grant consultant with Foundation for Positively Kids and a member of the Nevada Statewide Asthma Coalition, says research shows asthma is prevalent among young people.

"We had 23.3 percent of female students indicating they had asthma," she says. "These are high school students, a lot of kids. And 25.7 percent were males, but we have 26.2 percent of kids as young as 14 suffering from asthma now."

Lewis says there is no cure for asthma, which can be genetic or developed at any point in life. She recommends people with asthma see their doctor at least twice annually and be on medication if necessary. She adds that the medication regimen can be reduced or even eliminated if the asthma is stabilized.

According to the CDC, about 25 million Americans have asthma, up from 20 million in 2001. Approximately 10 people die from it each day. Lewis says emerging research also links obesity in children to more severe asthma issues.

"Obesity can worsen asthma symptoms and make them more difficult to manage," she says. "It can cause more hospitalizations."

Lewis adds that asthma-sufferers should try to avoid cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, animals or anything else that can trigger an attack.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV