What is the morbidity and mortality associated with asthma?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: John J Oppenheimer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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In the United States, mortality from asthma in general has increased, especially in children who live in inner-city areas, despite advances in disease understanding and therapy. The number of asthma-related deaths annually in the United States decreased from 5067 (1960–1962) to a low of 1870 (1975–1978), and then increased to 5429 (1993–1995). There has been a significant decline in asthma mortality in the past two decades. [11]   

Hospitalization and death rates are 50% higher for African American adults than white adults and 150% higher in children.

Worldwide, approximately 180,000 deaths annually are attributed to asthma; most deaths occur in persons older than age 45 years.

Increased morbidity is multifactorial; morbidity may be increased by increased exposure to indoor allergens, less exposure to viral infections early in life, more environmental pollution, overuse of short-acting beta-2 agonists, underuse of anti-inflammatory medications, and limited access to or education about health care.

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