Asthma is a chronic lung disease where patients find difficulty to breath caused by narrowing the airways when inflamed. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2020-2021, around 2.7 million people had asthma which is 10.7% of the total population. Among these numbers, females have a higher percentage (12.0%) than men (9.4%) of having asthma.
Prevalence and Incidence Rates Around Australia
Asthma is a long-term disease that can affect people of all ages, from mild to severe cases. Although it cannot be fully cured, most people with asthma can effectively manage their symptoms with proper care.
In the last ten years, the number of people with Asthma in Australia has gone up, with 11.2% of the population having asthma in 2017-18 compared to 9.9% in 2007-08. However, the percentage has stayed relatively stable since 2014-15, hovering around 10.8%.
In 2020-21, people born in Australia were more likely to have asthma than those born overseas, with 12.6% of Australians having asthma compared to 6.0% of those born overseas. Those living in Inner Regional areas had higher rates of asthma, with 13.1% having the condition, compared to those in Outer Regional and Remote areas, where 9.2% had asthma.
Additionally, people with a profound or severe disability were nearly three times as likely to have asthma, with 23.3% having the condition compared to 8.2% without a disability. Finally, people over 18 years old with asthma were more likely to smoke daily, with 14.0% being daily smokers compared to 10.6% in the general population.
What are the causes of Asthma in Australia
Asthma is a complicated condition that has various reasons behind it.
Environmental factors: Polluted air, dust mites, and pet hair can set off asthma symptoms.
Lifestyle habits: Such as being overweight or smoking, can also contribute to developing asthma.
Genetical: Certain genes may also increase the likelihood of having asthma.
Other Latest Statistics and Figures about Asthma in Australia
There are other statistical data that we need to know for a deeper understanding of the impact of asthma on the Australian population.
Demographic: Australians living in rural areas, mainly indigenous Australians are more likely to have asthma, 1.6 times more than non-indigenous Australian.
Hospitalisation: In 2017-2018, 38,792 Australians were hospitalised due to asthma. It is estimated that 88% of these hospitalisations were preventable. About half (44%) of them were children aged 0-14.
Mortality: In 2020, 417 people died from asthma in Australia, where 274 were female, and 143 were male. Mortality rates were higher for people living in remote areas, lower socio-economic areas, and indigenous Australians.
Management of Asthma
The National Asthma Council Australia recommends that individuals with asthma should follow a personalized action plan to manage worsening symptoms. Currently, only 34.6% of people with asthma have such a plan. Among those with asthma, 65.9% of children under 18 and 27.1% of adults over 18 have written action plans. Additionally, women over 18 are more likely than men to have a written action plan (32.7% compared to 20.2%).
Asthma affects a large portion of the Australian population and has multiple causes, including environmental factors and lifestyle choices. To effectively manage the condition, having a written action plan is recommended by the National Asthma Council Australia. Despite some progress, more work needs to be done to improve the number of people with asthma who have written action plans. Understanding the impact of asthma and its causes can help improve management and overall health.