With certain issues, it's sometimes helpful to get an idea of the statistics that surround it so that the entire situation can be put into context. This analysis certainly appears to be helpful with asthma, as many people are shocked to hear some of the numbers associated with this disease. Below are some examples of statistics related to asthma, and after a review you'll likely understand why such an enormous effort towards fighting it and ultimately finding a cure continues.
Overall Asthma Statistics in the United States
The most all–encompassing statistic related to asthma is that more than 20 million people suffer from it, and of that number, more than 6 million are children. That represents more than seven percent of the population, and the trend is growing rapidly. Given the number of diagnoses in recent years, we should all expect that percentage to rise.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) completed a long-term study of asthma that looked at the prevalence of the disease within the population. The results were stunning. For instance, the overall prevalence of asthma in the United States increased by a factor of 75% from 1980 - 1994. During that same timeframe, the prevalence of asthma in children increased by a factor of 160%.
Medical Needs and Overall Costs
When one sees the base-point numbers, it's not a long leap to figure that the costs associated with the treatment of asthma are incredibly high. Consider these statistics:
- There are more than 13 million doctor's office visits for asthma every year.
- There are nearly 2 million outpatient department visits every year.
- More than 2 million emergency room visits occur due to asthma every year.
- More than 5,000 people in the United States die from asthma-related causes on an annual basis.
When you look at the extreme need for medical care for asthma, the costs associated with it, both direct and indirect in nature, are not surprising.
- Health care costs for asthma exceed $12 billion annually.
- Lost productivity adds another $5 billion to that cost.
- More than 13 million school days are missed because of asthma.
- More than 25 million work days are missed every year for the same reason.
Clearly, asthma is an enormous drain on our money, our economy and our overall productivity. This is only one reason why the medical science community continues to work towards a cure, and why each advancement that's made is critical in the overall fight against this disease.