More than 20 million children and adults have asthma, and the toll is especially high for women. By age 40 they are twice as likely to suffer from the condition, compared with men—and they often have more severe cases, possibly because estrogen may worsen airway inflammation.

That means its important for women to avoid asthma triggers like pollen and pollution and have access to good asthma docs. Here, the best and worst cities for asthma sufferers based on several factors, including air quality and number of practicing asthma specialists.

Best Places Worst Places
#1 Cape Coral, FL #1 St. Louis, MO
#2 Seattle, WA #2 Milwaukee, WI
#3 Minneapolis, MN #3 Birmingham, AL
#4 Colorado Springs, CO #4 Chattanooga, TN
#5 Portland, OR #5 Charlotte, NC
This article was first published in Health magazine, July/August 2009.
Last updated: Aug 01, 2009