Asthma rates drop but experts not breathing easier

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The entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

The entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A new survey suggests asthma in the U.S. may finally be on the decline. But the results are so surprising that health officials are cautious about claiming a downturn.

The numbers are from a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lead author Jeannine Schiller says she wouldn’t say the findings are good news, yet.

The findings come from a large national health survey conducted last year. The drop could just be an unexplained statistical blip. Schiller said she’s waiting for data from this year before proclaiming asthma is on the decline.

For the past few years, about 8.6 percent of Americans have said they have asthma. But in last year’s survey, 7.4 percent said they currently had it. That was the lowest mark in a decade, and represents a decline of more than 3 million people. The largest declines were seen in black children and women.

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