With the arrival of spring, many Americans will experience a spike in their asthma symptoms -- tightness in the chest, wheezing, shortness of breath or early morning or nighttime coughing. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma affects about 1 in 12 adults and nearly 1 in 10 children. It also accounts for more than $56 billion in annual costs, 14.2 million physician office visits and 439,000 inpatient discharges. Location can play a big role in the quality of life, affordability of treatment and management of asthma. To help asthma sufferers identify the best and worst cities to live in the U.S., NerdWallet analyzed available data on asthma prevalence, air quality, cost and access to asthma care in the 50 largest U.S. cities.
The rankings were based on the following factors:
How common is asthma in the largest U.S. cities? We obtained data on the prevalence of both childhood and adult asthma.
How many relevant health care providers are in these cities?
We gathered data on the number of active primary care physicians and specialists such as allergists, immunologists and pulmonologists per 100,000 residents.
How good is the air? We studied data on ozone (smog) and particle air pollution in each city.
How costly is asthma care? We analyzed data on average hospitalization charges and average total payments for asthma in each city. We also obtained data on the one-time, out-of-pocket cash price of some of the most commonly used -- Albuterol, Advair diskus, Flovent diskus and Singulair.
The best cities for asthma sufferers:
- Omaha, NE
- Nashville, TN
- Arlington, VA
- Tucson, AZ
- Seattle, WA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Denver, CO
- Raleigh, NC
- Fort Worth, TX
- Virginia Beach, VA
For detailed rankings, methodology, and the worst cities for asthma sufferers, find the original study, here.