Objectives: This report presents recent data on asthma prevalence and health care use. Additional data on school and work absences and asthma management practices are also presented. Where possible, differences are examined by age, sex, race or ethnicity, geographic region, poverty status, and urbanicity.
Methods: Data from the National Health Interview Survey, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the National Vital Statistics System were used to calculate national estimates. The most recent data available from each system are presented, and 3-year annual averages are used to increase the reliability of estimates for subgroups where necessary.
Results: In 2009, current asthma prevalence was 8.2% of the U.S. population (24.6 million people); within population subgroups it was higher among females, children, persons of non-Hispanic black and Puerto Rican race or ethnicity, persons with family income below the poverty level, and those residing in the Northeast and Midwest regions. In 2008, persons with asthma missed 10.5 million school days and 14.2 million work days due to their asthma. In 2007, there were 1.75 million asthma-related emergency department visits and 456,000 asthma hospitalizations. Asthma emergency visit and hospitalization rates were higher among females than males, among children than adults, and among black than white persons. Despite the high burden from adverse impacts, use of some asthma management strategies based on clinical guidelines for the treatment of asthma remained below the targets set by the Healthy People 2010 initiative.