Asthma Statistics

United States

• The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the U.S. population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001.2
• Almost half (46.9%) of people with asthma had an attack in 2015. Children tended to have higher rates of attacks (47.5%) compared to adults (46.6%). 2
• About 1 in 10 children (10%) had asthma and 1 in 12 adults (8%) had asthma in 2009. Women were more likely than men and boys more likely than girls to have asthma.2
• For the period 2008–2010, asthma prevalence was higher among children than adults.5
• In 2008 less than half of people with asthma reported being taught how to avoid triggers. Almost half (48%) of adults who were taught how to avoid triggers did not follow most of this advice.2
• About 1 in 9 (11%) non-Hispanic blacks of all ages and about 1 in 6 (17%) of non-Hispanic black children had asthma in 2009, the highest rate among racial/ethnic groups.2
• For the period 2008–2010, asthma prevalence was higher among multiple-race, black, and American Indian or Alaska Native persons than white persons.5
• From 2001 through 2009 asthma rates rose the most among black children, almost a 50% increase.2

• Asthma costs in the US grew from about $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007, about a 6% increase.2
• More than half (59%) of children and one-third (33%) of adults who had an asthma attack missed school or work because of asthma in 2008. On average, in 2008 children missed 4 days of school and adults missed 5 days of work because of asthma.2

Health Care Visits/Hospital
• In 2008, asthma hospitalizations were 1.5 times higher among female than male patients.4
• From 2001 to 2009, health care visits for asthma per 100 persons with asthma declined in primary care settings, while asthma emergency department visit and hospitalization rates were stable.5
• For the period 2007–2009, black persons had higher rates for asthma emergency department visits and hospitalizations per 100 persons with asthma than white persons, and a higher asthma death rate per 1,000 persons with asthma. Compared with adults, children had higher rates for asthma primary care and emergency department visits, similar hospitalization rates, and lower death rates.5

Morbidity Rates
• Almost half (46.9%) of people with asthma had an attack in 2015. Children tended to have higher rates of attacks (47.5%) compared to adults (46.6%). 2
• There were 3,615 asthma-related deaths in 2015. Children under 18 years old made up 219 of those deaths.6

Work-related Asthma or Occupational Asthma
• An estimated 1.9 million cases of asthma among adults were work-related, accounting for 15.7% of current adult asthma cases.7
• Work-related asthma significantly differs by age and is highest among persons aged 45–64 years (20.7%).7

Asthma and Influenza
• Among the 830 influenza-related pediatric deaths between 2004 and 2012, 16% of the subjects had asthma.8
• Between 2003 and 2009, 32% of the 2165 children hospitalized for seasonal influenza had asthma.9
• 44% of 1160 children hospitalized for pandemic H1N1 infection had asthma. Children with asthma had four times higher odds of pandemic H1N1 infection than non-asthmatic children and were hospitalized at significantly higher rates than prior influenza seasons.9
• The CDC recommends universal, annual vaccination to reduce influenza-related mortality and curb viral transmission. This includes young children, adults older than 65, and those with high-risk medical conditions, (e.g. asthma) who are at the highest risk for complications of influenza infection. Subjects with underlying cardiopulmonary complications like asthma are at risk of pneumonia, bronchiolitis, sepsis and secondary bacterial infection from influenza.10

Asthma and Obesity
• In 2011-2014, current asthma prevalence was 8.8% among all adults. During this time period, asthma was more common among adults with obesity (11.1%) compared with adults in normal weight (7.1%) and overweight (7.8%) categories.11
• Women with obesity were more likely to have asthma than those in lower weight categories. Overall, women with obesity had higher current asthma prevalence (14.6%) compared with women in the normal weight (7.9%) and overweight (9.1%) categories.11
• Among adults aged 60 and over, there was a significant trend of increasing asthma prevalence with weight status: 7.0% among normal weight adults; 9.1% among overweight adults; 11.6% among adults with obesity.11
• Among weight status subgroups, current asthma prevalence increased from 5.6% in 2001-2012 to 8.4% in 2013-2014 among adults in the overweight category.11


• The prevalence of asthma in different countries varies widely, but the disparity is narrowing due to rising prevalence in low and middle income countries and plateauing in high income countries.3
• An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease.1
• It is estimated that the number of people with asthma will grow by more than 100 million by 2025.1
• Workplace conditions, such as exposure to fumes, gases or dust, are responsible for 11% of asthma cases worldwide.1
• About 70% of asthmatics also have allergies.1
• Approximately 250,000 people die prematurely each year from asthma. Almost all of these deaths are avoidable.1
• Occupational asthma contributes significantly to the global burden of asthma, since the condition accounts for approximately 15% of asthma amongst adults.1


1. World Health Organization. Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases: a comprehensive approach, 2007.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs, May 2011.
3. World Allergy Organization (WAO) White Book on Allergy, 2011.
4. National Hospital Discharge Survey, Mortality Component of the National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, 2011.
5. Trends in Asthma Prevalence, Health Care, and Mortality in the United States, 2001-2010, CDC, May 2012.
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 61, No. 4, May 8, 2013
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work-related Asthma in 22 States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015; 64: 13: 343.
8. Wong KK, Jain S, Blanton L, Dhara R, Brammer L, Fry AM, et al. Influenza-associated pediatric deaths in the United States 2004-2012. Pediatrics 2013; 132:796-804.
9. Dawood FS, Kamimoto L, D’Mello TA, Reingold A, Gershman K, Meek J, et al. Children with asthma hospitalized with seasonal or pandemic influenza 2003-2009. Pediatrics 2013; 132: 796-804.
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013; 62:1-43.
11. Citation: Akinbami LJ, Fryar CD. Asthma prevalence by weight status among adults: United States, 2001-2014. NCHS data brief, no 239. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.

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