Asthma can affect anyone. It can also attack with varying degrees of severity. Some people may have mild discomfort in their chest and coughing, while others might not be able to breathe without an emergency intervention.
Asthma costs the United States and estimated $56 billion each year, including medication costs, lost productivity, and lost educational opportunities.
It is remarkably common and can be triggered by any number of encounters. Molds, dust mites, exercise, cigarette smoke, or even the common cold can sometimes trigger this health condition. There is no cure for asthma, but it is possible to manage the disease. These asthma demographics prove how common asthma happens to be and who is most affected by this inflammation of the airways.
How Big Of A Problem Is Asthma?
- 18.7 million adults are diagnosed with asthma in the United States, or 1 in 12 people.
- 7 million children are also diagnosed with asthma, or 1 in 11 kids.
- The average yearly medical costs for a child with asthma: $1,039 above a child without asthma.
- About 9 people die every day from asthma.
- Asthma causes an average of 14.2 million missed days of work per year and 10.5 million missed days of school.
- Asthma is growing at a rate of 15% annually in the United States within every population demographic.
Asthma isn’t always thought of as a serious condition, but each year more than 3,000 people in the US and many more around the world die because of it. This is why any wheezing, chronic coughing, shortness of breath, or tightness and pain the chest should never be ignored. An asthma attack may be very mild at first, but it could turn very severe in just moments. Because asthma can only be managed, understanding these facts and symptoms is extremely important.
Who Has Been Diagnosed With Asthma?
- Women [8.3%] are slightly more likely to be diagnosed with asthma when compared to men [6.2%]. In children, however, the opposite is true.
- African-Americans/Blacks [9.9%] are the most likely to be diagnosed with asthma. Whites/Caucasians [7.4%] and Hispanics [5.9] are the next two closest racial/ethnic demographics for a diagnosis.
- Children [8.3%] are slightly more likely to be diagnosed than an adult [7%].
- Black/African-American children are 2x more likely to have asthma than White/Caucasian children.
- Adults aged 18-24 are more likely to have asthma than older adults.
- Adults with an annual household income of $75k or less are more likely to have asthma than adults with higher incomes.
- Adults who didn’t finish high school are more likely to have asthma than adults who graduated high school or college.
These facts show that there are clear asthma demographics which have a higher risk of diagnosis than others. With that being said, there are also two clear behavioral risk factors which also contribute to disease development in all demographics. People who smoke or live with someone who smokes are more likely to have asthma than those who do not. People who are overweight or obese are also more likely to have asthma. That’s why one of the easiest ways to limit risk factors is to eat healthy foods in appropriate portions and avoid smoking or second-hand smoke whenever possible.
Treating The Asthma Demographics
- 80% of children are taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms of asthma so they can seek out treatment if necessary.
- Fewer than 70% of adults can recognize the symptoms of asthma when asked.
- 1 in 5 children who have been diagnosed with asthma went to the ER for care in the last year.
- African-American/Black adults are hospitalized for asthma more often than Caucasians/Whites.
- African-American/Black and Hispanic children visit emergency departments more often for asthma than Caucasian/White children.
- Fewer than 50% of children diagnosed with asthma get an asthma action plan.
- There are 1.9 million asthma-related emergency department visits every year.
- 8.9 million people visit their doctor, a walk-in clinic, or seek urgent care because of their asthma every year.
- Over 475,000 people are hospitalized because of asthma or asthma-related complications in the US every year.
Getting a diagnosis of asthma is just the first step which needs to be taken in the treatment of this health condition. People must also know how to treat it on their own so there isn’t the need to visit a hospital to get something as simple as an inhaler. This is where the financial demographics of the disease really come into play. When higher income levels allow for more doctoral access and care, then it is clear to see why the data contains these facts. Yet even then, with the occupational and environmental hazards that can also trigger an asthma attack, asthma really can be an issue that is triggered anywhere and at any time.
The Costs of Asthma
- About 50% of children with asthma will miss at least 1 day of school every year because of their health.
- About 33% of adults will miss at least 1 day of work every year because of their asthma.
- 60% of people with asthma limit their physical activities as a way to limit symptoms, which unfortunately can also heighten the risk of future asthma attacks.
- 1 in 5 Hispanic adults can’t afford their asthma medicines. 1 in 7 Hispanic adults can’t even afford routine visits to the doctor.
- Black Americans are up to 3x more likely to die from asthma than any other racial or ethnic group.
- More than 25% of African-American/Black adults can’t afford the medicine for their asthma or the cost of seeing the doctor to get their medicine in the first place.
- The National Asthma Control Program, which was created in 1999, is able to serve 85% of the US population to provide better educational opportunities and proactive care options.
Asthma is costly in more ways than just a disruption of life. It can literally bankrupt people who need to have medicine to treat their condition to keep it under control. Many asthma medications don’t qualify for even top-tier medication coverage plans, which means people are forced to either pay their largest co-pay for an inhaler or a nebulizer or they are forced to pay out of pocket until they reach a high deductible. This means the minimum cost of one inhaler may be $40. Add in doctor rates that average $600 per hour in some areas of the US and it is easy to see why lower income households are so impacted by what asthma can do. Asthma is becoming more prevalent every year, which is why understanding these asthma demographics today can help make us all breathe a little easier tomorrow.