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Asthma Facts

  • Between 12 and 15 million Americans, including about 5 million children, have asthma.
  • The prevalence of asthma increased 75 percent between 1980 and 1994.
  • The prevalence of asthma is higher in children than adults.
  • Blacks are more likely to have asthma than whites.
  • Women are more likely to have asthma than men, but among children, boys are more likely than girls to have the disease.
  • About 40 percent of children with parents who have asthma will develop the disease themselves.
  • Over 70 percent of people with asthma also have allergies.
  • There were 5,637 deaths from asthma in 1995; more women than men and more blacks than whites died.
  • Asthma is the leading cause of school absences, accounting for more than 10 million missed school days in 1999 alone.
  • The number of Americans with asthma is projected to nearly double by 2020, to 29 million people.
  • The costs of caring for people with asthma were estimated at $11.3 billion in 1998.
  • Hospitalizations account for the largest share of asthma costs.
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