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Editorials |

Near-Fatal Asthma: What Have We Learned?

Mario Castro, MD, MPH
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: St. Louis, MO
 ,  Dr. Castro is Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Departments of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Mario Castro, MD, MPH, Washington University School of Medicine, Box 8052, 660 S. Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110-1093; e-mail: mcastro@im.wustl.edu



Chest. 2002;121(5):1394-1395. doi:10.1378/chest.121.5.1394
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Asthma is a common disease causing substantial morbidity and mortality, despite major advances that have been made in our knowledge regarding its pathogenesis and treatment. Recent trends suggest a stabilization of mortality rates due to asthma in the United States. From 1977 to 1996, there was a rise in deaths due to asthma in the United States from 1,674 (0.8 per 100,000) to 5,667 (2.1 per 100,000).1 The mortality rate increased by 6.2% annually during the 1980s and faster among subjects aged 5 to 14 years than among those aged 15 to 34 years.2 Among whites, the mortality rates have increased more in female subjects than male subjects.1 The death rate for asthma among African Americans is three times higher than among white Americans.

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asthma

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