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25 Essential Asthma Statistics for 2020

written by / February 19, 2020

Have you ever wanted to find out more about asthma? Most of us know it as one of the most common health conditions known to humankind, but what is asthma in medical terms? It’s a health issue in which a person’s airways narrow, swell, and produce excessive mucus. Due to this, the person may experience extreme difficulties with breathing. 

Furthermore, the condition may trigger wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, and some individuals even face life-threatening asthma attacks. So without further ado, here are the most insightful asthma statistics from the United States and the rest of the world. 

The Top 10 Statistics on Asthma 

  • Over 11.4 million individuals had at least one asthma attack in 2017. 
  • The condition’s prevalence among kids increased from 8.7% in 2001 to 9.4% in 2010.
  • 31.1% of children aged 4 or younger had to visit urgent care centers or emergency departments due to asthma attacks.
  • Asthma statistics reveal that Americans between the ages of 45–64 account for 20.7% of work-related asthma cases.
  • Statistics from 2016 show that 11.1% of obese Americans have asthma.
  • Globally, asthma affects 339 million individuals and kills around 1000 people each day.
  • The highest prevalence of clinical asthma was observed in Australia (21.5%) and Sweden (20.2%).
  • 11% of Swedish citizens had asthma in 2018.
  • In Kentucky, 32% of people with asthma are smokers. 
  • Facts reveal that around 8–20% of patients with asthma experience an attack triggered by painkillers.

Prevalence of Asthma in the US

Asthma Statistics - Featured

1. 8.4% of American children and 7.7% of American adults have asthma.

According to statistics derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 13 people struggles with the condition. In fact, over 25 million American individuals of all ages have asthma. Unfortunately, the prevalence of the health condition in the United States has been steadily increasing since the 1980s in all gender, racial, and age groups.

(CDC)

2. According to asthma statistics from 2017, over 11.4 million individuals had at least one asthma attack that year. 

Not only that, but this insanely high figure included over three million asthmatic children! In addition to being the leading chronic disease in kids, asthma is more common in children than grown-ups. The facts also show that the health condition is more prevalent in boys than girls.

(CDC)

3. At the moment, there are around 6.2 million underaged Americans with asthma.

Stats on the prevalence of asthma reveal that one in 12 children had the condition in 2017. In fact, asthma is the main reason why children miss school; statistics show that 13.8 million missed school days occurred because of the health condition in 2013. 

(CDC)

4. The condition’s prevalence among kids increased from 8.7% in 2001 to 9.4% in 2010.

However, asthma among kids decreased to 8.3 in 2016. Even though some changes weren’t significant in the statistical sense, an interchangeable pattern was noticed among other groups, with the exception of Mexican-American and Mexican kids. In fact, the asthma prevalence among kids belonging to this demographic group increased from 5.1% to 6.5% in 2016.

(CDC)

5. Statistics from 2015 reveal that 47.5% of underaged Americans with asthma reported experiencing at least one asthma attack in the previous year.

Fortunately, CDC claims that episodes of asthma have steadily declined in kids of all ethnicities and races from 2001 through 2016. However, in 2016, around 50% of kids of ages five or younger experienced an episode.

(CDC) 

6. 31.1% of children aged 4 or younger had to visit urgent care centers or emergency departments due to asthma attacks.

According to CDC asthma statistics concerning children, a further 10.4% of kids aged four or younger were hospitalized due to asthma attacks. The statistics also show that the urgent care center and emergency department visits were the highest among African-American children under the age of four.

(CDC)

7. 9.8 million American individuals visit a doctor’s office due to asthma.

Not only that, but the stats reveal that asthma also accounts for around 1.8 million emergency department visits and around 188,968 discharges from hospital inpatient care centers every year. When it comes to African-Americans, the asthma statistics from the US reveal that this demographic group is three times more likely to end up in a hospital due to the condition.

(CDC)

8. Americans between the ages of 45–64 account for 20.7% of work-related asthma cases.

According to statistics concerning occupational or work-related asthma, around 1.9 million cases of the condition among adult Americans were related to work. In fact, 15.7% of present adult asthma cases are work-related. The prevalence of the condition was highest among Americans in the social assistance and healthcare industries with 8.8%, while the educational services industry accounted for 8.2% of the cases. 

(CDC)

9. The US asthma statistics reveal that approximately 10 Americans die from the condition every day.

In fact, the statistics in the United States show that 3,564 individuals passed away from the condition in 2017. However, many of the reported deaths would be avoidable if the condition was treated in time. Even though asthma in children is more prevalent, adults have a four times higher chance of dying from it.

(CDC)

10. Stats on asthma prevalence in the United States reveal that 13.4% of African-American kids have asthma, compared to around 7.4% of Caucasian kids with the condition.

Not only are African-American children more prone to having asthma, but African-Americans in the United States have a three times higher chance of passing away from the health condition. The facts reveal that this is especially true when it comes to African-American females.

(CDC)

11. Asthma statistics from 2018 reveal that 9.8% of American women aged 18 or older suffer from the condition, compared to 5.4% of American men.

Even though the health condition is more prevalent among boys than girls, adult women are more likely to have asthma than adult men, possibly due to the sex hormones on the cells of their lungs. According to experts, testosterone in men prevents the production of cells that contribute to the onset of asthma and its symptoms such as mucus production and inflammation in the lungs.

(CDC, ScienceDaily)

12. Asthma statistics from 2016 reveal that 11.1% of obese Americans have asthma.

In comparison, 7.8% of overweight American adults and 7.1% of American adults of normal weight have asthma. When it comes to women, 14.6% of women with obesity have asthma, while the condition is prevalent in 9.1% of those who are overweight and 7.9% of women of normal weight.

(CDC)

Global Asthma Statistics

Asthma Statistics - Global prevalence

13. Globally, asthma affects 339 million individuals and kills around 1000 people each day.

Asthma statistics worldwide—from 2018—show that the condition is most prevalent in younger adults between the ages of 18–45, whereas the prevalence among older adults and the elderly is less known. Unfortunately, the number of asthmatics in the world has increased by 3.6% since 2006.

(Global Asthma Network)

14. Asthma was the cause of 23.7 million deaths in 2016.

Statistics from 2016 reveal that globally, the health condition was ranked 28th among the most prevalent causes of burden of disease and 27th in the middle- and low-income countries. According to experts, asthma is a heterogeneous disease with many different causes, outcomes, and life-courses.

(Global Asthma Network)

15. According to asthma facts and statistics from 2018, the condition contributes to 0.6% of all hospital admissions in Europe.

Furthermore, in European countries, asthma is the cause of 0.4% of inpatient bed-days. Nevertheless, the rates vary by up to 10-fold between different countries, and rates among children are higher than among adults.

(Global Asthma Network)

16. The highest prevalence of clinical asthma was observed in Australia (21.5%) and Sweden (20.2%).

Data collected by the WHO shows that the United Kingdom is the third country ranking highest in the prevalence of clinical asthma (18.2%), followed by the Netherlands (15.3%), and Brazil (13%). Furthermore, the asthma statistics worldwide show that Vietnam (1.0%), China (1.4%), and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1.4%) have the lowest rates.

(AnnalsOfGlobalHealth)

17. There has been a 35% increase in the incidence of asthma in Italy among adults between the ages of 20–44.

Furthermore, the stats show that there was an increase in asthma rates among Greek schoolchildren from 1991–2003, but it hit a plateau from 2003–2008. Experts blame factors such as urbanization, ingestion of seafood, and smoking.

(AnnalsOfGlobalHealth)

18. Statistics on the number of asthma patients in Great Britain reveal that 4.67 million individuals in the country had asthma in 2015. 

The incidence of asthma was the highest in the North West of England, with more than 778,000 people who had the condition. Furthermore, the second place went to the South East, with around 687,900 asthmatics. According to these numbers, we can safely say that in 2015, the UK had one of the highest rates of asthma in Europe. 

(Statista)

19. Statistics on asthma from 2003–2018 show that 8.3% of Canadians have been diagnosed as having asthma.

The mentioned statistics were conducted from 2003–2018 and involved 65,000 respondents aged 12 or older. In fact, in 2018, approximately 2.59 million Canadian individuals claimed that they had been diagnosed with the health condition.

(Statista)

20. 11% of Swedish citizens had asthma in 2018.

According to statistics on asthma in Sweden, the percentage of asthmatics in 2008 was nine, and then it increased to 10% between  2009 and 2016. Furthermore, the statistics reveal that 7% of individuals living in Sweden had issues with asthma, whereas 1% experienced severe forms of asthmatic attacks.

(Statista)

21. It is estimated that 80% of all asthmatics are clueless about how to use an inhalator.

Asthma stats from 2018 reveal this is one of the main reasons why GINA insists on surveilling asthma patients. Furthermore, the stats show that half of the patients don’t follow the specific indicated methods of use for their therapy.

(GINAsthma)

Statistics on Smoking and Asthma

Asthma Statistics - Smoking and asthma

22. In Kentucky, 32% of people with asthma smoke.

Also, the statistics reveal that 12% of individuals from Minnesota smoke, even though they also cope with asthma. In total, around 21% of individuals with asthma in the United States smoke, even though it is a well-known trigger for asthma attacks. The smoking and asthma facts show that almost 17% of individuals without the condition smoke cigarettes.

(CDC)

23. Smoke residues from cannabis can aggravate asthma symptoms.

Even though many believe that cannabis may help asthmatic patients relax, the truth is that smoking cannabis may actually trigger asthmatic attacks. In fact, professionals advise the use of oils and edibles instead of smoking the substance.

(NCBI)

Asthma Treatment Statistics

24. Interesting facts about asthma reveal that 87.1% of asthmatic patients report benefits of antifungal therapy.

Asthmatic patients deal with an excessive amount of mucus in which fungi are able to thrive. In fact, fungi are able to produce toxins in the body that trigger inflammation in the patients’ lungs. According to a study from 2016, asthmatic patients can reap the benefits of antifungal therapy even if they are not allergic or sensitive to fungi.

(NCBI)

25. Asthma facts reveal that around 8–20% of patients with asthma experience an attack triggered by painkillers.

Yes, indeed, a significant percentage of individuals who have asthma may experience fatal bronchospasm—also known as aspirin-induced asthma—by using anti-inflammatory drugs. According to experts, hypersensitivity to anti-inflammatory drugs may be more common in patients between the ages of 30–40 and patients with sinusitis, chronic rhinitis, and nasal polyps.

(MedSafe)

Final Thoughts

In sum, asthma is a very common chronic disease resulting in missed days of school or work, clinically serious morbidity, and in some cases, death. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat the condition, and it can definitely be cured. If the asthma statistics in this article answered your questions about this disease, then remember to leave a comment below and share this article with a friend. 

FAQs

Which state has the highest asthma rate?

According to a survey from 2017, the highest mortality rate was observed in New Mexico, with 18.2 mortalities with asthma being the main cause of death per million population. The next is Mississippi with 14.3, followed by Idaho with 13.8, and Alabama with 13.7. Other states in the US with high asthma death rates include Hawaii (13.4), Oklahoma (13.4), Washington (13), and Oregon (12.8).

(Statista)

Can you die in your sleep from asthma?

In short, although it’s possible, it’s unlikely that someone would die from an asthma attack during sleep. Experts state that this is because an asthma attack is capable of waking the person up from sleep (unless they are highly sedated for another reason). Some individuals experience other issues during the night, which may be mistaken for having an asthma attack, such as having an episode of acid reflux. Also, people with asthma are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.

(EverydayHealth)

Do asthmatics die younger?

According to experts, a person who has asthma may live a long and fulfilling life. Of course, other risk factors may lead to a shorter lifespan alongside having asthma such as smoking, hazardous lifestyle choices, and the presence of irritants. To avoid these risk factors, you should quit smoking, work and live in areas without harsh irritants and switch to a healthier diet.

(Blueprint Income)

Can asthma ever go away?

The good news is, yes, asthma can disappear, but it’s more likely to happen if it starts early on in childhood. According to experts, when the condition goes away, it’s because it was not even there initially. There are two ways a person can reverse asthma signs and symptoms: the first one is to avoid triggers and allergens, and the second one is to take medications as directed by a healthcare specialist.

(Harvard Health Publishing)

Does asthma get worse as you get older?

In short, if asthma has not been diagnosed or treated properly early on, it may get worse with age. However, this can be prevented by simply taking medication for the condition on a regular basis and visiting a doctor’s office frequently.

(Asthma Society of Ireland)

Sources