RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There are an estimated 27 million people who suffer from asthma in the United States. Certain localities have environmental conditions that are known to make the disease more challenging, Richmond is one of them.

According to a new report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the City of Richmond ranks seventh among the most challenging cities in the United States for people with asthma.

The report analyzed data from the 100 most populated cities in the country and evaluated three main health outcomes — asthma prevalence, emergency department visits for asthma and deaths due to asthma.

The top 10 worst cities for people with asthma, according to AAFA, are:

  1. Allentown, Pa.
  2. Lakeland, Fla.
  3. Charleston, S.C.
  4. Cleveland, Ohio
  5. Detroit, Mich.
  6. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  7. Richmond, Va.
  8. Philadelphia, Pa.
  9. Fresno, Calif.
  10. Rochester, N.Y.

From 2018 to 2021, Richmond reportedly had a crude asthma-related death rate of 2.61 — AAFA says this is about 2.5 times higher than the average death rate for the 100 analyzed cities, which was 1.07. The death rate was also found to disproportionately affect Black residents — with a death rate of 5.14 during the same time period.

“Richmond earns this ranking due to its higher-than-average asthma prevalence, ED visits for asthma, and high deaths due to asthma,” a spokesperson with AAFA said.

September is a peak month for asthma, with a number of factors — such as ragweed pollen, flu and cold season, return to school, etc. — combining to make breathing more difficult for people with asthma.

For more information on asthma and healthy methods for asthma control, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.