Asthma rates highest among poor


LACONIA, N.H. (AP) – New England has the highest rate of asthma in the country, and a new study finds it’s especially prevalent among poor people.

The Asthma Regional Council of New England study found that people living below the poverty level are twice as likely to have asthma as people who earn three times the poverty level: 15.6 percent compared to 7.6 percent.

More research into the finding still needs to be done, but several factors likely play a large role, said council spokeswoman Laurie Stillman.

“People of lower income are generally of poorer health, with higher rates of smoking and obesity,” she said. “They are more likely not to have health insurance and more likely to live and work in unhealthy environments.”