Knoxville is the No. 7 Asthma Capital? How Come?

While you're wheezing, remind your lungs that Knoxville dropped from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's (AAFA) choice for "Asthma Capital of the World" in 2008 (a distinction earned three times in five years) to being just #7 for 2009. The AAFA rates 100 cities on three factors: pollen scores of airborne grass, tree, and weed pollen, plus mold spores; number of allergy medications used per patient; and number of allergy specialists per patient.

Here are the cities that ranked worse than Knoxville and, if you're looking to move based on breathability, the five that fared best in the evaluation:

Top Asthma Capitals 2009

  1. St. Louis, Mo.
  2. Milwaukee, Wis.
  3. Birmingham, Ala.
  4. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  5. Charlotte, N.C.
  6. Memphis, Tenn.
  7. Knoxville, Tenn.

Best for Breathers 2009

  1. Cape Coral, Fla.
  2. Seattle, Wash.
  3. Minneapolis, Minn.
  4. Colorado Springs, Col.
  5. Portland, Ore.