Memphis is the Asthma Capitol of America

Memphis is the most challenging city in america for asthma

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) Memphis has asthma sufferers singing the blues. Memphis has been named as the asthma capitol of America while two more Tennessee cities cracked the top five.

Asthma is a widespread problem in America, with close to 25 million adults and children having the disease.

While there are various ways to treat and manage asthma, the city you live in plays a large role in how severe your asthma symptoms are. In a new study, Memphis reigned as the Asthma capitol of America based on 12 factors.

"Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce asthma risk."

A new study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) evaluated the 100 largest cities in America to determine which city is the most difficult to live in for asthma sufferers. Unfortunately, if your city is on the list, moving will not help as every city has their own downfalls when it comes to asthma.

For the study, the AAFA took into consideration:

  • annual air quality,
  • annual pollen score,
  • approximate death rate due to asthma,
  • estimated number of asthma sufferers per city,
  • number of self-reported asthma sufferers per city,
  • public smoking laws,
  • poverty rate,
  • uninsured rate,
  • school inhaler access laws,
  • reported rescue medication usage,
  • number of asthma specialists and
  • reported controller medication usage.

Each of the 12 factors were weighted by doctors and researchers based on their effect on the quality of life for the asthma sufferer. Each city was given a final score based on these 12 factors.

Memphis was the third worst city for asthma sufferers in 2011 and took the top spot in 2012.

The AAFA bestowed this dubious honor on Memphis due to poor air quality, high annual pollen scores, the higher number of ozone days, no public smoking laws and high use of rescue medication for asthma.

Memphis was not the only Tennessee city on the list as Knoxville and Chattanooga were among the worst cities for asthma sufferers. Knoxville came in at number three while Chattanooga was ranked as the fifth worst city for asthma sufferers.

In a previous report by the AAFA, Knoxville was the allergy capitol of America, ranking as the worst city for allergy sufferers. Chattanooga was number seven on that list while Memphis was the eight most challenging city for allergy sufferers.

The list of the worst cities for asthma included New Haven, CT coming in as the second worst city for asthma sufferers. Pittsburgh, PA was number four, Hartford, CT was number six, St. Louis MO was number seven, Oklahoma City, OK was number eight, McAllen, TX was number nine and Allentown, PA rounded out the top ten.

Asthma sufferers in Memphis should not pack up and move out. The AAFA recommends asthma sufferers to better educate themselves in regards to asthma risk. This includes visiting an asthma specialist and developing an asthma management plan.

The report was published by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 8, 2012
Last Updated:
May 10, 2012