Health by the Numbers: Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the bronchial airways, causing recurring wheezing, chest tightening, shortness of breath, and coughing. It typically begins in childhood and persists into adulthood. Asthma is common, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2010 almost 19 million adults and seven million children had asthma.

Here's a look at a few asthma statistics:

  • 17 million: Number of healthcare visits in U.S. due to asthma.
  • 4.3 days: Average length of asthma-related hospital stay.
  • 3,388: Number of annual asthma-related deaths.
  • 1.75 million: Number of asthma-related emergency room visits (2007).
  • 4.2: Percent of people in the U.S. who've had at least one asthma attack (2009).
  • 235 million: Number of people worldwide with asthma, according to the World Health Organization (asthma is the most common chronic condition in children).
  • 70 percent: asthmatics who also have allergies.
  • 11: Percent of asthma cases worldwide due to workplace conditions, such as exposure to fumes, gasses, and dust.
  • 100 million: Predicted number of asthma sufferers in the U.S. by 2025.
  • 19.7 billion: Annual economic costs of asthma.
  • 3rd: Cause of hospital visits in children 15 and younger.
  • 450: Distinct toxic contaminants, some linked to increased risk of asthma and cancer, found in the Environmental Working Group's 2009 investigation of school cleaning products in California.




National Heart Lung Blood Institute. "Who Is at Risk for Asthma?" Web.

National Heart Lung Blood Institute. "What Is Asthma?" Web.

Centers for Disease Control. "Asthma." Web. 27 January 2012.

World Health Organization. "Asthma: Fact Sheet N°307." Web. May 2011.

Dodson, Robin E., Nishioka, Marcia, Standley, Laurel J., Perovich, Laura J., Brody, Julia Green, and Rudel, Ruthann A.. "Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products." Environmental Health Perspectives. Web. 8 March 2012.

American Academy of Allergy Asthma Immunology. "Asthma Statistics." Web.

Akinbami, Lara J., M.D., Moorman, Jeanne E., M.S., and Liu, Xiang, M.Sc. " Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use, and Mortality: United States, 2005-2009." National Health Statistics Reports 32. Web. 12 January 2011.

Centers for Disease Control. "Asthma." CDC Vital Signs. Web. May 2011.

Environmental Working Group. "Cleaners' Ingredients Would Finally Be Disclosed Under New Bill." Press release. Web. 17 November 2011.