One on one with Tyson Chandler
By Frederick Dakarai
Tyson Chandler and the Charlotte Bobcats came to town Nov. 18 to get smashed by Brandon Jennings and the Milwaukee Bucks, however besides basketball, Chandler wanted to tell Milwaukee his story about being diagnose with asthma as an adult. He suffers from exercise-induced asthma that developed as an adult.
Chandler was playing with the Chicago Bulls about 4 years ago when he discovered that breathing was becoming increasingly difficult after routine practice drills. This new phenomenon of breathing problems persisted and after receiving a big six year contract extension from the Bulls, things got tough.
He continued to rebound well (9.1 a game) but his stats in other categories dropped, most notably in scoring. Suddenly, only a season after signing his new contract, his future in Chicago was in doubt.
Asthma is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty. This chronic disease affects 20 million Americans. Asthma is commonly divided into two types: allergic (extrinsic) asthma and non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma.
Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the air passages resulting in the temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Asthma symptoms can be caused by allergens or irritants that are inhaled into the lungs, resulting in infl amed, clogged and constricted airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly.
There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. But, with proper management, people can live healthy and active lives.
Every day in America:
- 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma.
- 30,000 people have an asthma attack.
- 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.
- 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.
- 11 people die from asthma.
There is no cure for asthma, but asthma can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.
Asthma has a genetic component. If only one parent has asthma, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have asthma. If both parents have asthma, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have asthma.
More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from asthma. It is one of this country’s most common and costly diseases
Annual U.S. Prevalence Statistics for Chronic Diseases
Asthma: A Concern for Minority Populations
- Ethnic differences in asthma prevalence, morbidity and mortality are highly correlated with poverty, urban air quality, indoor allergens, and lack of patient education and inadequate medical care.
- African Americans are three times more likely to be hospitalized from asthma.
- African Americans are three times more likely to die from asthma. African American Women have the highest asthma mortality rate of all groups, more than 2.5 times higher than Caucasian women.
- Hispanics may have an elevated risk for exposure to air pollution since a disproportionate number live in areas failing to meet one or more national standards for air pollutants. (It is estimated that 80 percent of Hispanics live in areas that failed to meet one U.S. EPA air quality standard, compared to 65 percent African Americans and 57 percent of White.
- Puerto Ricans may be at increased risk for multiple indoor and outdoor allergies compared to Whites. Puerto Rican children may be three times more likely to be allergic to cockroaches than White children.
- In 2002, over 1.7 million Hispanic Americans reported that they currently have asthma and 1.1 million experienced an asthma attack in the past year.
- Hispanics have lower rates of asthma than non-Hispanic blacks and whites. However, studies suggest that Puerto Ricans may have higher rates of asthma than other Hispanic subgroups and non-Hispanic whites, as well as higher death rates than other Hispanic subgroups and non-Hispanic whites and blacks.
- Occupational lung disease is the number one cause of work-related illness in the United States in terms of frequency, severity and preventability. Hispanics are more likely to be employed in high-risk occupations (textile, building service, construction, farming, forestry and fishing industries) than any other race or ethnic group.
Tyson Chandler is having a productive NBA career with proper diagnosis and a regimen to keep his asthma under control.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has a landmark research report on Disparities in Asthma Care published in partnership with the National Pharmaceutical Council. Go to www.ASTHMyths.com for more facts.