When suffering from certain health conditions, where you live can make a difference to the symptoms you experience. One example is asthma, as there are some places to live that can exacerbate the condition, while other locations can reduce the symptoms. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) ranked the 100 largest cities in the United States in terms of factors relating to asthma. Air quality, pollution, and humidity are all factors that can make a difference, and finding an area with good healthcare facilities is another consideration. If you suffer from this chronic lung condition, here are the 20 best places to live in the United States if you have asthma.
20. San Diego, California
Not only is San Diego a good option for asthma sufferers, but Bank Rate ranks this city as the third best place to live in California overall. Some of the city's best features include high educational attainment and low unemployment rates. Its major downside is the high cost of living, so it is not the best option for those looking for an affordable area. In terms of living in this city with asthma, the rates of asthma-related deaths are significantly lower than the national average due to good air quality and decent access to healthcare.
19. Augusta, Georgia
The primary reason that Augusta, Georgia, makes it onto the list is the below-average asthma-related deaths. However, it is on par with the national average for asthma prevalence and emergency room visits. Augusta has seen significant improvements over the last decade that now make it a much better place to live for those with asthma. In 2015 and 2017, this city was ranked in the ten worst places to live with asthma. Augusta has a population of 197,888, while the Augusta Metropolitan area has 600,151 residents. The city sits close to the South Carolina border.
18. Riverside, California
The AAFA ranks Riverside, California, as the 18th best urban location to live for those with asthma, primarily because the asthma-related death rates are below average. A potential reason for this is that the area has the Riverside County Asthma Coalition, which aims to support those with asthma and create policies to improve their lives. Another reason is that California has an indoor air law, which prevents people from smoking in workplaces and many public places. Unlike many cities, the laws include smoking e-cigarettes. Despite the positive features, it is important to note that pollutant levels are high in Riverside.
17. Tampa, Florida
Tampa is the third-largest city in Florida after Miami and Jacksonville, and it is home to almost 400,000 people. The city is on the west coast of Florida in Tampa Bay, close to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a good option for those with asthma who want to live in an urban location. The city scores highly for air pollution, the prevalence of asthma, and asthma-related deaths. However, Tampa only ranks as average in terms of asthma-related emergency room admissions. Other reasons to live in this city include easy access to many of Florida's top attractions, fantastic beaches, multiple employment opportunities, and community diversity.
16. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
A ban on smoking in public places in Baton Rouge is potentially one of the reasons why the city makes it onto this list, says The Advocate. Baton Rouge also has lower than average rates of asthma prevalence and scores highly for air quality compared to the other urban locations ranked by the AAFA. Furthermore, the statistics show that there are below average rates of both asthma-related emergency room visits and deaths in this city. Further reasons to consider Baton Rouge are its affordability, the small-town charm, and the vibrant arts, culture, music, history, and food scenes.
15. Lakeland, Florida
Florida is clearly one of the top states in which to live for asthma sufferers, as Lakeland is the fifth city from this state on the list. Like the other Florida locations, Lakeland has low pollen rates due to the coastal winds ridding the air of irritants and pollutants. However, Lakeland is the only in-land location listed, as the other cities are all coastal. In addition to being a good place to live for asthma sufferers, Lakeland is also a good option for those who work in either Tampa or Orlando but do not want to live in these busy, tourist-filled areas.
14. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Although asthma-related death rates in Minneapolis are on par with the national average, the city scores well in other areas. For example, Minneapolis has a low asthma prevalence and a below-average rate of emergency room visits relating to asthma. According to Only In Your State, there are many other reasons to consider living in this city. It is a green city with bike trails and many fantastic outdoor spaces. It also has an outstanding food scene and plenty of leisure activities to enjoy for people of all ages.
13. Ogden, Utah
There are two reasons that Ogden is considered a good city in which to live for those who suffer from asthma. First, the prevalence of asthma is lower than the national average in this city. Second, it has a low rate of asthma-related emergency room visits. However, the asthma-related death rate is higher than the national average. Another positive feature of this location for asthma sufferers is that the dry climate slows down the movement of pollen, thus reducing the symptoms of asthma.
12. Miami, Florida
A low prevalence of asthma has put Miami, Florida, in the 11th position for the best places to live in the United States with asthma. Get Cold suggests that one reason that living on the coast of Florida is good for asthma sufferers is that the coastal winds blow away irritants that can trigger asthma symptoms. Asthma sufferers also have to consider other lifestyle factors when choosing where to live, and Miami offers diverse job opportunities, amazing beaches, and plenty of activities for people to enjoy when they are not at work.
11. Los Angeles, California
Although Los Angeles, California, has an average asthma prevalence, it has jumped up the rankings because it has a low asthma-related emergency room visits rate. Despite ranking high on the list of 100 cities, Los Angeles does have high levels of ozone. Los Angeles is a location that will suit many people with varied types of lifestyles, as there is something for everyone. There are busy urban neighborhoods, quieter suburbs, and the city is surrounded by beautiful and diverse landscapes that are ideal for those who enjoy the outdoors. Los Angeles also has many employment opportunities in many sectors.
10. Provo, Utah
The two main reasons that Provo ranks in the tenth position are because there is a low prevalence of asthma in this city and because there is a lower than average rate of asthma-related visits to the emergency room. Another positive feature of the city in terms of asthma sufferers living in the area is that the dry climate means there are lower levels of pollen and other allergens, which can trigger asthma symptoms. Despite high scores in most areas, it is important to note that Provo has the second-highest asthma-related death rate in the cities ranked by the AAFA.
9. Palm Bay, Florida
Palm Bay is the third Florida city to appear on the list of the best places to live with asthma in the United States. It is located just 100 miles south of Daytona Beach, and it is home to 550,823 people. Palm Bay scored highly for both pollen rates and air quality. Interestingly, Palm Bay is potentially good for asthma sufferers because it has a low poverty rate. Studies show that people living in poverty are exposed to more airborne irritants and allergens, which makes people more vulnerable to developing asthma.
8. San Jose, California
San Jose scores highly for most factors that are considered when determining the best places for people with asthma to live, including pollution levels and air quality. There are many potential reasons why this city scores so highly, including a low poverty rate and strict anti-smoking laws. It is also worth noting that the city is part of the Bay Area's Spare the Air initiative. The initiative promotes using clean energy, reducing junk mail, and planting more trees, says Health.com.
7. San Antonio, Texas
Although San Antonia has a high pollen count in some months of the year and there is a high prevalence of asthma in children, the city ranks highly for other factors considered by the AAFA. Another point in this city's favor is that it has a coalition the provides in-home treatment for asthma for children.
6. El Paso, Texas
Like several other places in Texas, there is a project in place to support allergy and asthma sufferers. The Asthma and Allergy Coalition aims to improve allergy and asthma care by hosting events to raise awareness, attending health fairs, and offering screenings. El Paso ranks in the sixth position because of low rates of both asthma-related emergency room admissions and deaths.
5. Daytona Beach, Florida
Not only is Daytona Beach one of the best places to live for those with asthma, but it is also considered one of the best locations for people with allergies. Daytona Beach scored above average in all three of the AAFA's main ranking factors when deciding which are the best and worst places to live with asthma in the United States. The city also has lots of positive features that mean it offers its residents a good lifestyle.
4. Sarasota, Florida
If you ever needed proof that the coastal air can benefit many aspects of health, then Sarasota in Florida is a fine example. Sarasota has an ideal climate for asthma sufferers and fantastic outdoor air quality. However, there is a lack of indoor air quality legislation in this city, and this could potentially explain why the asthma prevalence rate is on par with the national average. In addition to the clear health benefits of living in Sarasota, it also has amazing beaches and plenty of activities for the residents to enjoy in their free time. Sarasota is one of three Florida locations in the top ten places to live in the United States for people with asthma.
3. Houston, Texas
It is unsurprising that Houston, Texas, ranks so highly on this list, as the city has an Asthma Prevention and Control Program. The program promotes policies to help people with asthma, and there is a strong emphasis on providing support for children who suffer from asthma. It is possibly thanks to the program that Houston has low asthma prevalence, low asthma-related emergency room visits, and low asthma-related death rates.
2. McAllen, Texas
The two main reasons that McAllen ranks second on the list are because there are low numbers of asthma-related visits to the emergency room and low rates of asthma-related deaths. On the other hand, it is not a good place to live for those who suffer from spring allergies due to high pollen rates throughout spring.
1. Cape Coral, Florida
According to research by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the best place to live in the United States for asthma sufferers is Cape Coral, Florida. Extreme heat and humidity can often exacerbate asthma symptoms. Fortunately, the climate in Cape Coral on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida seems to have the ideal environment for people with respiratory conditions. Interestingly, Cape Coral has been much further down the list in previous years. Cape Coral is home to 661,115 people, and it is considered one of the overall best places to live in Florida due to its many positive features.
You can also read:
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn