Asthma Rates Slightly Higher than National Average in Kentucky

By: MacKenzie Bates Email
By: MacKenzie Bates Email

A report released this year by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services shows rates of adult and childhood asthma in Kentucky are higher than the national average.

The report says almost nine percent of adults have the disease, compared to the national average of 8.3-percent. More than 13-percent of middle school students have Asthma, compared to the national average of 10.9-percent. One local nurse practitioner says one factor is smoking.

"Kentucky has a high rate of smoking in both in adults and in adolescents," Overbee says. "And because of the smoking that can increase the asthma rates."

The report also shows that Southeast Kentucky has the highest rates of hospitalization in asthma related cases. Overbee believes that has to do with people not getting quick treatment for asthma.

We have done a really good job at opening up the access for care," Overbee says. "People now have a better access than ever before for care, but i think sometimes people don't seek that out."

Overbee says one of the best ways to control Asthma is to limit the risk factors.

"Don't smoke, exercise, eat healthy," Overbee says. "Things like that can reduce your risk factors are a big, big thing can help."

Doctors say the best thing someone with asthma can do, is catch flare ups early and make sure you are taking the right medication.

The report also says Kentucky's annual cost of asthma treatment is an estimated $62 million for related inpatient hospital admissions.

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