Breathing is an ongoing occurrence and an everyday part of life.  The freedom to breathe, however, is something that many of us take for granted.  Did you know that asthma is the leading chronic illness among children, claiming over 5,000 lives each year?

According to the African American Health Network, African Americans and children are hospitalized for asthma more than any other race or age group.  Asthma results from the narrowing of the breathing tubes, which causes swelling and increased mucous secretion, making it extremely difficult for air to flow in and out of the lungs.

Startling statistics from the American Lung Association reveal that in 2002, an estimated 4.8 million African Americans had been diagnosed with asthma in their lifetime: 3.4 million of them currently have asthma and 2 million said they experienced an asthma attack in the past year.  Moreover, African Americans also have higher rates of asthma mortality. In 2001, African Americans were three times more likely to die from asthma than Whites.

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