A study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America named four New England cities in its list of the 20 most challenging places in the U.S. to live with asthma.
Springfield, Massachusetts, holds the top spot for 2019. Boston is eighth. In Connecticut, New Haven is 11th and Hartford is 13th.
The study looked at 100 U.S. cities and ranked them based on several criteria — asthma prevalence, emergency department visits due to asthma attacks and asthma-related deaths. The researchers also looked into risk factors in regards to poverty, air quality, access to doctors, pollen, medication, tobacco policies and insurance for residents.
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The pollen, in particular, affected the most people in Springfield. The city also had the highest number of asthma-related emergency room visits and a high rate of asthma overall.
The foundation encourages people to seek medical advice and educate themselves on what may trigger an asthma attack. It also emphasizes the need for the community to work with leaders to create healthier environments to bring down asthma rates.