- Asthma is one of the leading chronic childhood diseases in the U.S.
- Nine million American children younger than 18 and 5.6 million children ages 5–17 have asthma, making it one of the most common chronic diseases among children.
- In 2005, 5.2% of children had at least one asthma episode in the previous year (3.8 million children). Nearly two of every three children who currently have asthma had at least one episode in the past year.
- Asthma accounts for 2.8% of all emergency room visits for children; in 2004 there were 750,000 pediatric emergency room visits.
- Approximately 44% of all asthma hospitalizations are for children.
- Young people with asthma miss an estimated 12.9 million days of school each year because of the disease. Children’s school performance consequently suffers.
- Asthma-related visits to physician offices have increased sharply since the early 1990s from fewer than 40 visits per 1,000 children under age 18 in 1990, to 89 visits per 1,000 children in 2004.
- Asthma costs the United States an estimated total of $16.1 billion annually, including $11.5 billion in direct health care costs such as hospitalization and $4.6 billion in indirect costs such as lost days of work.
- Because of asthma, each day in the United States, 40,000 people miss work or school; 30,000 have an asthma episode; 5,000 people visit the emergency room; 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital; and 11 people die due to asthma.
- Asthma cannot be cured, however it can be controlled.