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.