What is the prevalence of pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Approximately 34.1 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma in their lifetime. According to the most recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Asthma Surveillance Survey, the prevalence of current asthma during 2001-2003 prevalence is estimated at 6.7% in adults and 8.5% in children, and the burden of asthma increased more than 75% from 1980-1999. [34, 35]

Asthma accounts for more school absences and more hospitalizations than any other chronic illness. In most children's hospitals in the United States, it is the most common diagnosis at admission.

Worldwide, 130 million people have asthma. The prevalence is 8-10 times higher in developed countries (eg, United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand) than in the developing countries. In developed countries, the prevalence is higher in low-income groups in urban areas and inner cities than in other groups.

A long-term study of a birth cohort on the Isle of Wight showed that maternal asthma and eczema were associated with asthma and eczema in their daughters, but not in their sons. Similarly, paternal asthma and eczema were associated with asthma and eczema in their sons, but not in their daughters. [36]

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