Asthma Statistics

•In 1994, the estimated number of people with self-reported asthma in the United States was 14.6 million. The estimate for 1998 has risen to 17.3 million.

•Asthma was diagnosed more often than any other illness of 468,000 U.S. hospital admissions in 1993.

•In the United States in 1994 , asthma affected an estimated 4.8 million children (under age 18) out of an estimated 18 million children. Asthmatic youngsters under age 15 were hospitalized 159,000 times in 1993, and stayed 3.4 days on average.

•Asthma is only slightly more prevalent in African-American children than in white children. African-American children with asthma, however, experience more severe disability and have more frequent hospitalizations than do white children.

•Among people ages 5 to 24, the asthma death rate nearly doubled from 1980 to 1993. In 1993, African Americans in this age group were four to six times more likely to die from asthma than whites; and males were 1.5 times at greater risk than females.

•Overall, asthma treatment cost an estimated $6.2 billion in 1990; 43 percent of that total cost was associated with emergency room use, hospitalization, and death. Loss of school days, alone, caused decreased productivity that cost an estimated $1 billion.

Reprinted with permission from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases

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