Latinos in the United States are finding it hard to take a breath, according to a new report from the American Lung Association that found Latinos are disproportionately suffering from asthma.

The report, titled “Luchando Por el Aire: The Burden of Asthma on Hispanics,” found that Latinos with asthma are less likely to be in the care of a regular doctor or clinic, less likely to be prescribed the appropriate medicines, less likely to have access to medical specialists, and more likely to be treated in an ER.

“Some Hispanics face social and economic disadvantages that leave them less able to implement the necessary steps to manage their asthma,” said Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. “Hispanics are the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group, and the urgency of addressing the burden of asthma grows with the population.”

According to the report, Latinos are 165 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution and 51 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone pollution, both of which can cause asthma.

The report also found that Latinos are more likely to work in low-paying agriculture, construction and service jobs that often expose workers to health hazards but rarely provide employees with health insurance.

To help Latinos stay healthy and fight asthma, the American Lung Association is spotlighting Spanish-language resources.

First, “Breathe Well, Live Well,” an adult asthma self-management education program with English and Spanish materials. There is also the “Open Airways for Schools,” a school-based curriculum that shows students how to detect the warning signs of asthma, avoid their triggers and make decisions about their health. Finally, there is the Lung Helpline, 1-800-LUNG-USA, which offers one-on-one support from Spanish-speaking registered nurses and respiratory therapists.

For more information, visit the American Lung Association web site at