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When Bad Tastes Good

Discovery of Taste Receptors in the Lungs Could Revolutionize Asthma Treatment

By the Numbers

The discovery of bitter taste receptors in the human lung may hold promise for the development of new therapies to treat a variety of respiratory illnesses, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The numbers below show how far-reaching the impact of such new therapies could be for both the local and global population.

2 Number of medical institutions that helped to make this research possible, including the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
8 Number of researchers who participated in this groundbreaking study.
90 Percentage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by smoking.
3,447 Number of deaths attributed to asthma in the United States in 2007.
120,970 Number of deaths attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States in 2006.
444,000 Number of asthma-related hospital discharges in the United States in 2006.
679,000 Number of emergency room visits attributed to asthma among children under 15 in the United States in 2005.
1,700,000 Total number of emergency room visits attributed to asthma in the United States in 2006.
7,100,0000 Estimated number of American children living with asthma in 2009.
12,100,000 Estimated number of American adults living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2007.
14,200,000 Estimated number of lost work days attributed to asthma in the United States in 2008.
14,400,000 Estimated number of lost school days attributed to asthma in the United States in 2007.
23,300,000 Estimated total number of Americans living with asthma in 2008.
15,600,000,000 Estimated annual direct health care costs (in dollars) associated with asthma in 2009.
29,500,000,000 Estimated annual direct health care costs (in dollars) associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2007.

For More Information

The above statistics were obtained from the following resources:

Please visit these Web sites to view additional health information for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory illnesses.


This page was last updated on: October 18, 2010.