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Search Health Information    Who is Affected by Asthma

Who is Affected by Asthma

According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, in 2009: 1

  • About 24 million people in the U.S. have asthma . Of these, about 7 million are children and 17 million are adults.
  • More than 12 million people reported having had an asthma attack during the previous 12 months. In other words, about 52% of the people who had asthma at the time of the survey had had an asthma attack in the previous year.

In 2007, asthma caused 1.8 million visits to the hospital emergency room for asthma. Children went to the emergency room more often than adults. About 4,000 people died of asthma each year from 2005 to 2007. 1

Although many people with asthma suffer from poorly controlled symptoms, evidence suggests that when taken correctly, currently available medicines work very well to control symptoms in the majority of people who have asthma.


  1. Akinbami LK, et al. (2011). Asthma prevalence, health care use, and mortality: United States, 2005–2009. National Health Statistics Reports, 32: 1–16.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised February 14, 2011

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