Understanding Asthma

Who is at risk for asthma?

As is usually the case with conditions for which there is no known cure, there is no central cause that's been identified with asthma. However, the medical community has spent decades pouring time and funds into the research of this disease, and the results have produced important and useful data that helps to identify those who tend to be more at risk of developing asthma than others.

Age of Diagnosis

Although it's possible that many asthma patients have contracted the disease without being diagnosed, those who have studied the statistics of patients who have contracted asthma have noticed that the majority of those who develop the condition are children. The National Institute of Health has reported that 22 million people in the United States are known to have asthma, and of those people, at least 6 million are children. Specifically, children who suffer from regular attacks of coughing and wheezing that begin at infancy and last beyond the age of six are much more likely to have asthma than others.


Gender of Asthma Patients

An additional look at the available data also reveals an interesting scenario when it comes to the gender of those who have asthma. Among children, it's much more likely for boys to suffer from asthma than girls. However, that seems to turn around completely as the age of asthma patients increases. As of now, there are more female adults who have asthma in the United States than men.

Family History

As is the case with many different diseases and conditions, genetics has been found to play a large part in the question of whether or not someone is more predisposed to asthma than the general population. Studies have shown that more than 50% of those who have asthma contracted it because of their genetic disposition. Additionally, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed a study that showed that if one of the parents of a child has asthma, that child is between three and six times more likely than others to develop the disease.

Cigarette Smoking

Everyone now understands that smoking cigarettes exposes a person to several different serious health problems, and it appears that asthma is no exception. This link appears to be valid whether the asthma sufferer smokes during adolescence or whether a child is regularly exposed to secondhand smoke from family members.

Overall Advancement

While it appears that the potential causes of asthma are numerous, every potential link that's discovered is an extremely positive step towards the potential prevention of the development of asthma in people of all ages and backgrounds. Additional links are sure to soon be found as the medical community continues to work towards prevention and perhaps a cure to the disease.