Please Note: As of January 1, 2019, this website will be deactivated and the materials and data will no longer be accessible. A new, upgraded version of the CARAT is now available at This new site is hosted by Please transition any data or records that you need to the new site before the deadline. Thank you for using the CARAT.


+ What Is Asthma?
= Facts and Statistics About Asthma
+ Myths and Rumors
+ Further Information

Stats and facts icon Facts and Statistics About Asthma


  • Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States.
  • In 1996, there were estimated to be 14.6 million asthmatics in the United States with 4.4 million below the age of 18 years.
  • The number of people with asthma increased 73.9% from 1980 to 1996.
  • During 1999, 4,657 deaths were attributed to asthma in the US, with 78% occurring at or after 45 years of age.

Who is affected by asthma?

  • Asthma prevalence is higher among urban, poor, and minority populations.
  • In 1998, statistics showed that African Americans were 2.6 times more likely to die from asthma than whites.
  • Ethnicity and asthma is complex: Mexican-Americans have some of the lowest rates of asthma in the US, while Puerto Ricans reported some of the highest rates.
  • Asthma rates vary widely across the world.
  • Asthma appears to be a disease of developed countries.

Healthcare Impact

  • Asthma is the second leading cause of ER visits among children (behind injuries).
  • In 1999, asthma accounted for 2 million emergency room visits, a 26% increase since 1992.
  • Asthma also accounted for an estimated 478,000 hospitalizations in 1999, with 39% of all asthma hospitalizations occurring before age 15 years.
  • The economic burden of asthma was approximately $6.2 billion in the early 1990s.

Home|Top|Glossary|Help|Privacy Statement