Asthma Statistics

Asthma continues to be a serious public health problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Almost 25 million people, including almost 7 million children, have asthma.
    • Asthma prevalence is higher among persons with family income below the poverty level.
  • Almost 13 million people report having an asthma attack in the past year.
  • Asthma accounts for over 15 million physician office and hospital outpatient department visits, 4 and nearly 2 million emergency department visits each year.
  • African Americans continue to have higher rates of asthma emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths than do Caucasians:
    • The rate of emergency department visits is 330% higher.
    • The hospitalization rate is 220% higher.
    • The asthma death rate is 190% higher.
  • Approximately 3 million Hispanics in the U.S. have asthma and Puerto Ricans are disproportionately impacted:
    • The rate of asthma among Puerto Ricans is 113% higher than non-Hispanic white people and 50% higher than non-Hispanic black people.
    • The prevalence of asthma attacks is highest among Puerto Ricans

Asthma in Children

  • Asthma is one of the most common serious chronic diseases of childhood.
  • Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 15.
  • An average of one out of every 10 school-aged children has asthma.
  • 10.5 million school days are missed each year due to asthma.

The Cost of Asthma

Annual expenditures for health and lost productivity due to asthma are estimated at over $20 billion, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.