Asthma is a significant public health problem in the United States and in Massachusetts. In 2010 in the United States, over 25.7 million people currently had asthma (8.2% of all Americans), including an estimated 7 million children and 18.7 million adults. Nationally, the prevalence of asthma has been increasing since 1980 across all age, sex, and racial groups.[i] The prevalence of asthma in Massachusetts is among the highest reported for states. In 2015, approximately 10.5% of people in Massachusetts – 10.2% of adults and 12.9% children – had asthma1.

When asthma is not well controlled or very poorly controlled, people experience frequent symptoms that can interfere with their lives. Most adults (73.7%) and children (66.2%) with asthma were classified as having not well controlled or very poorly controlled asthma on average from 2006-2010 (this is the most recent data available due to the small sample size after sampling design changed).

Close to half (41.1%) of children with current asthma were unable to go to school or daycare for at least one day during the past twelve months due to asthma. Adults ages 65 years and older had the 2nd highest rate of hospitalization due to asthma, but had the lowest rates of emergency department visits and outpatient observation stays due to asthma.

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This information is provided by the Asthma Prevention and Control Program within the Department of Public Health.