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CDC study says asthma might be on decline

| Thursday, June 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

NEW YORK — A new survey suggests asthma might finally be on the decline. But the results are so surprising that health officials are cautious.

“I wouldn't say it's good news — yet,” said the study's lead author, Jeannine Schiller of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings come from a large national health survey conducted last year. The drop could just be an unexplained statistical blip, and Schiller said she's waiting for data from this year before proclaiming asthma is on the decline.

The CDC released the report on Thursday.

For the past several years, about 8.6 percent of Americans have said they have asthma. But in the 2013 survey, 7.4 percent said they have it. That was the lowest mark in a decade, and represents a decline of more than 3 million people.

The largest declines were seen in black children and women.

There was also a drop in those who said they'd had an asthma attack or episode in the past year. The number fell from 4.4 percent in 2012 to 3.8 percent last year — the lowest mark in more than 15 years.

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