Richmond area repeats as No. 1 among worst places for asthma patients

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The Richmond area has garnered a number of top rankings as a place to do business. Now for two years in a row it has received a No. 1 ranking it doesn’t want.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America on Wednesday announced that Richmond is again the nation’s allergy capital in a ranking of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. The AAFA’s annual ranking of the most challenging places in the U.S. to live with asthma also placed Virginia Beach at No. 8.

The ranking is based on 12 factors including asthma death rates; prevalence of adult and pediatric asthma; risk factors such as pollen counts, air pollution and smoking bans; and medical factors including the number of asthma medications used per patient and the number of asthma specialists in the area.

The foundation said that, after ranking 14th in 2009, the Richmond area has topped the list for two years straight because of a number of factors, including high pollen counts, poor air quality, a lack of public smoking bans and high percentages of the population that either live in poverty or don’t have health insurance.

Fourteen of the top 25 metro areas on the list are in the South. Besides Richmond and Virginia Beach, other areas in the top 10 include: Knoxville, Tenn.; Memphis; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Tulsa, Okla.; St. Louis; Augusta, Ga.; Philadelphia and Nashville.

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