Asthma Epidemiology

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease involving inflammation and narrowing of the airways that is one of the major non-communicable diseases worldwide. There are more than 300 million individuals that currently suffer from the disease and the prevalence continues to grow with each year, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Individuals of any age can suffer from asthma, but symptoms of the disease are most common in children.

International Epidemiology

The prevalence of asthma varies widely in different regions of the world due to distinct genetic, environmental and occupational risk factors. However, this disparity appears to be closing as the prevalence in high-income countries is reaching a plateau whereas the prevalence in low and middle-income countries continues to rise.

Worldwide, it is estimated that approximately 334 million people currently suffer from asthma, and 250,000 deaths are attributed to the disease each year. The prevalence of the disease is continuing to grow, and the overall prevalence is estimated to increase by 100 million by 2025.

Risk Factors

Some individuals are predisposed to developing asthma with a strong family history of the disease. Exposure to inhaled substances and particles that provoke an irritation or allergic reaction in the airways is a significant risk factor for the disease. Irritants may include dust, pollen, mould, smoke, chemical or pollution.

Other triggers that can promote the presentation of asthma symptoms include cold air, anger, fear and physical exercise. Additionally, some medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and beta blockers can trigger symptoms.

Reducing Burden of Disease

Asthma has a comparably low mortality rate when contrasted with other chronic diseases. Most deaths associated with asthma occur in low and lower-middle income countries. Poor control of asthma has been linked to inadequate access to medication used in the management of the condition.

Asthma is a chronic condition with no known cure, but management options are available to improve quality of life and allow patients to live an uninhibited life. Patient education to increase knowledge about the triggers for asthma so that they can be avoided is the first step to reducing the disease burden. Medications used to relieve symptoms or control inflammation and prevent exacerbation both have a role to play in managing asthma and improving overall outcomes of the disease.

Asthma in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, there are 5.4 million people that currently rely on treatment to manage symptoms of asthma, with 1 in 12 adults affected and 1 in 11 children. This places the UK among countries with the highest rates of prevalence of asthma in Europe. In 2014, there were 1216 deaths in the United Kingdom associated with asthma.

Each year, it is estimated that the NHS spends approximately 1 billion pounds for the treatment and care of patients with the disease.

Asthma in the United States

The prevalence of asthma in the United States is on the rise with 1 in 12 adults, approximately 25 million individuals countrywide, affected by the condition in 2009 (in comparison to 1 in 14 in 2001). Of those, more than half had an asthma attack in the previous year and the disease proved to be fatal for 185 children and 3262 adults in the year 2007.

Financial burden of asthma in the US is estimated to be approximately $3,300 per patient with asthma per year, including all medical expenses, absences from work or school and early fatalities.


Further Reading

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Yolanda Smith

Written by

Yolanda Smith

Yolanda graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia and has experience working in both Australia and Italy. She is passionate about how medicine, diet and lifestyle affect our health and enjoys helping people understand this. In her spare time she loves to explore the world and learn about new cultures and languages.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Smith, Yolanda. (2023, January 02). Asthma Epidemiology. News-Medical. Retrieved on June 13, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Smith, Yolanda. "Asthma Epidemiology". News-Medical. 13 June 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Smith, Yolanda. "Asthma Epidemiology". News-Medical. (accessed June 13, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Smith, Yolanda. 2023. Asthma Epidemiology. News-Medical, viewed 13 June 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Children exposed to tree and weed pollen at increased risk of respiratory health problems