- Jackson, MS
- Louisville, KY
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Memphis, TN
- Knoxville, TN
Jackson won the top spot this spring because of higher than average pollen counts and higher than average medication usage. Louisville is usually in the top 10 on both the fall and spring allergy lists. You can see the full list here.
The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America is a partner in the AIR Louisville project, contributing strategic advice and helping to promote the program among its Louisville members.
In addition to the spring and fall allergy reports, AAFA also issues an annual Asthma Capitals report. Mike Tringale, MSM, is the Senior Vice President of External Affairs at AAFA. In a conversation about the asthma capitals report, he explained how the city scores are calculated. AAFA researchers gather data in three categories:
- Asthma prevalence factors – data from hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and self-reported data from individuals with asthma
- Asthma risk factors – pollen, air quality, smoking laws, poverty rate, the size of the uninsured population and school inhaler access laws
- Medical factors – the number of doctors in a city who specialize in respiratory issues, such as allergists and pulmonologists
Each category and the individual factors within each category carry different numerical weights in the calculation of each city’s score. For example, pollen has the highest weight among the risk factors because it’s such a large trigger of asthma.
“Asthma is an inherited disease of your lungs, you’re born with a sensitive airway,” Tringale said. “If you’ve got allergies on top of that, it’s a one-two punch.”
One of the goals of AIR Louisville is to get Louisville off of AAFA’s Asthma Capitals top 10 list, making Louisville a healthier and safer place to live for people with asthma and other respiratory disease.