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    Atlanta Named 2007 "Asthma Capital"

    Atlanta Ranked Worst, Seattle Best U.S. City for Asthma Sufferers
    WebMD Health News

    Jan. 18, 2007 -- The "A" in Atlanta might as well stand for asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

    The nonprofit patient organization says that for asthma sufferers, Atlanta is the worst U.S. city to live in.

    Seattle ranks best -- or, in this case, least bad -- on the group's list of the 100 "most challenging places to live with asthma."

    The 10 worst asthma cities, according to the AAFA, are:

    1. Atlanta (last year: 4th)
    2. Philadelphia (last year: 3rd)
    3. Raleigh, N.C.
    4. Knoxville, Tenn.
    5. Harrisburg, Pa.
    6. Grand Rapids, Mich.
    7. Milwaukee, Wis. (last year: 5th)
    8. Greensboro, N.C. (last year: 7th)
    9. Scranton, Pa. (last year: 1st)
    10. Little Rock, Ark.

    Atlanta earns its "worst" score from the city's high asthma death rate, high pollen levels, and severe air pollution.

    The AAFA also cites Atlanta's "worse-than-average" public smoking laws, although the city does ban smoking in 80% of hotel rooms and in bars and restaurants that allow access to minors (except in private, separately ventilated rooms).

    The idea behind the ranking is to warn Americans that across the nation, asthma rates continue to climb.

    Growing Problem

    In the last 20 years, asthma prevalence has doubled, says Derek Johnson, MD, director of pediatric allergy at Temple University, in a news release.

    "People can't just move away from their asthma since every city in America has a variety of risk factors," Johnson says.

    Indeed, even Seattle flunks some AAFA tests. The city gets "worse than average" scores in asthma prevalence and only "average" ratings for air quality, uninsured rates, school inhaler-access laws, and number of asthma specialists.

    "People should work with an asthma specialist to have a good asthma management plan no matter where they live," Johnson says.

    100 Worst Cities

    Here's the complete 2007 AAFA list of the 100 most challenging places to live with asthma:

    1. Atlanta
    2. Philadelphia
    3. Raleigh, N.C.
    4. Knoxville, Tenn.
    5. Harrisburg, Pa.
    6. Grand Rapids, Mich.
    7. Milwaukee, Wis.
    8. Greensboro, N.C.
    9. Scranton, Pa.
    10. Little Rock, Ark.
    11. San Antonio
    12. Los Angeles
    13. Chicago
    14. Charlotte, N.C.
    15. Fresno, Calif.
    16. Allentown, Pa.
    17. Birmingham, Ala.
    18. Baltimore
    19. Mobile, Ala.
    20. Detroit
    21. Lancaster, Pa.
    22. Johnson City, Tenn.
    23. Pittsburgh
    24. Oklahoma City
    25. Tulsa, Okla.
    26. Chattanooga, Tenn.
    27. McAllen, Texas
    28. St. Louis
    29. Hartford, Conn.
    30. Memphis, Tenn.
    31. Fort Wayne, Ind.
    32. Bakersfield, Calif.
    33. Salt Lake City
    34. Greenville, S.C.
    35. Kalamazoo, Mich.
    36. Dallas-Ft. Worth
    37. Boston
    38. Houston
    39. Modesto, Calif.
    40. Richmond, Va.
    41. Augusta, Ga.
    42. El Paso, Texas
    43. Indianapolis
    44. Phoenix-Mesa
    45. Wichita, Kan.
    46. Louisville, Ky.
    47. Austin, Texas
    48. Columbia, S.C.
    49. Las Vegas
    50. Lansing, Mich.
    51. Stockton, Calif.
    52. Washington, D.C.
    53. Norfolk, Va.
    54. Toledo, Ohio
    55. Springfield, Mass.
    56. Kansas City, Mo.
    57. Albuquerque, N.M.
    58. Columbus, Ohio
    59. Nashville, Tenn.
    60. New York
    61. Providence, R.I.
    62. Youngstown, Ohio
    63. San Diego
    64. Sacramento, Calif.
    65. Buffalo, N.Y.
    66. Cleveland
    67. Charleston, S.C.
    68. Syracuse, N.Y.
    69. Cincinnati
    70. Dayton, Ohio
    71. Albany, N.Y.
    72. Des Moines, Iowa
    73. Rochester, N.Y.
    74. Lexington, Ky.
    75. Portland, Ore.
    76. Pensacola, Fla.
    77. Jackson, Miss.
    78. Denver
    79. Canton, Ohio
    80. Tampa, Fla.
    81. Tucson, Ariz.
    82. Omaha, Neb.
    83. Madison, Wis.
    84. New Orleans
    85. Jacksonville, Fla.
    86. Orlando, Fla.
    87. Baton Rouge, La.
    88. Boise City, Idaho
    89. Spokane, Wash.
    90. Lakeland, Fla.
    91. San Francisco
    92. Daytona Beach, Fla.
    93. Fort Myers, Fla.
    94. Sarasota, Fla.
    95. Colorado Springs, Colo.
    96. Melbourne, Fla.
    97. West Palm Beach, Fla.
    98. Miami
    99. Minneapolis
    100. Seattle

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