Spring Allergy Capitals 2015: We’re #2 – which is progress

Louisville is in the #2 spot for worst places to live with asthma.

Louisville is in the #2 spot on the 2015 Spring Allergy Capitals Report.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America just released the 2015 Spring Allergy Capitals report. Good news for Louisville, we’ve dropped one spot in the overall list. Last spring, our city was in the #1 spot with a score of 100.00 This year Jackson, MS, took that honor:

1. Jackson, MS
2. Louisville, KY
3. Oklahoma City, OK
4. Memphis, TN
5. Knoxville, TN

Jackson won the top spot this spring mostly because of higher than average pollen and higher than average medication usage. Louisville is usually in the top 10 on the fall and spring allergy lists. You can see the full list here.

The Foundation is a partner in the Institute’s AIR Louisville project, contributing strategic advice and helping to promote the program among its Louisville members.

In addition to the spring and fall allergy reports, AAFA also issues an annual asthma capitals report. Mike Tringale, MSM, is the senior vice president of external affairs at AAFA. In a conversation about the allergy capitals report, he explained how the city scores are calculated for the asthma report. The AAFA researchers gather data in three categories:

  • Prevalence factors – data from hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control, and self-reporting from individuals with asthma
  • Risk factors – pollen, air quality, smoking laws, poverty rate, the size of the uninsured population and School Inhaler Access Laws
  • Medical factors – number of doctors in a city who specialize in breathing problems, allergists and pulmonologists

Each category and the individual factors within each category have different numerical weights in the calculation of each city’s score. For example, pollen has the highest weight among the risk factors.

“Asthma is an inherited disease of your lungs, you’re born with a sensitive airway,” Tringale said. “If you’ve got allergies on top of that, it’s a one-two punch.”

One of the goals of AIR Louisville is to get out of the asthma capitals top 10 list. Tringale said that there is no ideal city for people with asthma.

“It doesn’t matter where you live, it’s about controlling the environment where you are,” he said.

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