Statistics showed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention state that despite the amount of particulate matter in the air decreases, the overall mortality rates for asthmatics during the period from 2007 to 2010 have increased. The reason why these statistics seem surprising to some is that the graph chart is taken out of context. While the amount of particulate matter in the air is indeed one of the important factors to affect asthma mortality rates, it is not the only factor involved.
Other factors that affect predisposition towards asthma include genetics, education, availability of healthcare, and numerous other factors. While the graph shows us that the overall number of particles had decreased, it does not tell us the discrepancy by locality. According to Healthy People 2020 statistics, the year 2009 was signified by a dramatic increase in death rates for metropolitan areas in comparison to non-metropolitan areas – 3.8 vs. 2.9.
This means that while the overall amount of particulate matter across the country has decreased, metropolitan areas saw an increase in it, which, in turn, could have caused an increase in mortality rates. Other factors could have contributed as well, such as the economic crisis of 2008, which affected the quality and availability of healthcare to many citizens. According to the Healthy People 2020 report, the year 2008 saw a decrease in the percentage of people who received proper education about the appropriate response to an asthma episode, which is likely to have affected mortality rates in a negative way.