What Causes Asthma?


Jennifer Larson

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Asthma affects 8% of American adults—nearly 19 million people. Almost 7 million children have asthma, too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

No one knows with absolute certainty what causes some people to develop asthma, but as the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes, the condition does run in the family. Certain people with a family history of asthma and allergies seem predisposed to developing this chronic inflammation of the lungs, suggesting that heredity plays a role. Most experts believe a combination of genetic and environmental influences are responsible.

It’s frightening to experience an asthma attack—but being prepared with tools and strategies, plus avoiding known triggers, can help bring you back to normal.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jan 19, 2016

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