What Are the Worst Cities for Asthma?

Asthma sufferers should steer clear of Scranton, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; and Philadelphia. They are the three worst cities for asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The foundation analyzed 12 factors, such as the estimated prevalence of asthma in each city, annual pollen levels, air quality, public smoking laws, number of asthma specialists and school inhaler access laws.

It then compiled a ranking of the 100 worst cities for people with asthma. Also in the Top 10 were Atlanta; Milwaukee; Cleveland; Greensboro, N.C.; Youngstown, Ohio; St. Louis; and Detroit.

Asthma is an increasing problem in the United States. The disease, which causes inflammation in the lungs, can be triggered by allergens such as pollen, dust mites and mold. It can also occur for unknown reasons and can be triggered by things like stress and exercise.

The foundation says the condition is responsible for children missing at least 14.6 million days of school each year, and forces adults to miss 14.5 million days of work annually.

"There's no such thing as an 'asthma-free' city, so moving won't solve the problem," said Mike Tringale, the foundation's director of communications, in a press release. "What is important is that people understand what triggers an asthma attack and where to look for help to get the right specialist and treatment."