As the U.S. struggles with weight and obesity problems it is important to recognize the connection between weight and asthma. It has been shown that those who are obese have higher prevalence rates of asthma than those who are of normal weight. Moreover, obese women are twice as likely to have asthma than obese men are and almost twice as likely to have asthma than a woman of normal weight.
Asthma is most often treated by controllers, such as inhaled corticosteroids and relievers. Around 15.6 million Americans seek medication due to asthma-related problems annually. The high prevalence of asthma results in it being one of the most popular drug classes for retail prescriptions in the U.S., with approximately 570 prescriptions for asthma per 1,000 patients in 2015.
Furthermore, asthma is responsible for a large number of hospital visits every year. In 2015, there were about 2,486 outpatient cases for asthma per hospital. The economic burden of asthma can be heavy for all who are affected, and the costs of lost work productivity, medications and hospital visits can be troublesome. It is estimated that in 2015, the average charge per inpatient case for asthma patients amounted to almost 26,000 U.S. dollars.