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It seems like Asthma is becoming much more prevalent these days, particularly in built up areas

Asthma is serious and widespread. Asthma is a serious chronic disorder of the lungs that causes recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, and can be life-threatening.

In 2002, an estimated 30.8 million people in the United States had asthma diagnosed at some point in their life, including some 8.9 million children. Asthma is estimated to affect as many as 300 million people worldwide. Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization in children, the most prevalent chronic disease in childhood, and the most common cause of school absenteeism due to chronic disease. It is more common and more severe in African-Americans, and in people with a low income living in urban areas. In 2001, 4,269 people died of asthma in the U.S.; over 65% of these deaths occurred in women. Asthma accounts for 1 of every 250 deaths worldwide.
Could it be something to do with all the household cleaning chemicals? Parents tend to use them more than 20 years ago. For example these Glade plug ins - i do not have them as it aggreivates partners asthma. He's had asthma since a young child - horses are a nightmare, and these air freshners. Luckily little one doesn't have it.

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