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What is asthma

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Updated: Friday, May 21,2010, 11:23:57 AM
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What is asthma


Asthma is a disease that affects the air passages in your lungs. it makes them inflamed and swollen all  the time, not just during an attack. During an attack, muscles around the airways tighten up, making the airways narrower so less air flows through. Inflammation increases, and the airways become more swollen and even narrower. Cells in the airways may also make more mucus than usual. This extra mucus also narrows the airways. These changes make it harder to breathe.

Asthma is a growing problem in the United States. the prevalence of asthma has been increasing since the early 1980s. Today,the number of Americans with asthma has grown to over 20 million. That's about one in 15 people.

Asthma has been increasing in all age, sex and racial groups. Asthma can also be deadly, with the risk of death being higher for African Americans and for males, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). In fact, men are one and a half times more likely to die from an asthma attack than women. One last statistic: in the last two decades, the death rate from asthma in 5-24 year olds has more than doubled. All this is why it's essential to recognize the symptoms of asthma and get it treated.


Tags: Asthma

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