People and asthma
1 in 9 Australians have asthma – around 2.7 million.
It’s more common in males aged 0–14, but among those aged 15 and over, asthma is more common in females.
The rate of asthma among Indigenous Australians is almost twice as high as that of non-Indigenous Australians. This is even more marked in the older adult age group.
Asthma is more common in people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.
The prevalence of asthma is significantly higher in people living in inner regional areas compared with people living in major cities or outer regional and remote areas.
Only 21% of people aged 15 and over have a written asthma action plan. 57% of children (under 15) have an asthma action plan. Everyone with asthma should have a written asthma action plan.
Cost of asthma
The estimated cost of asthma in Australia in 2015 was $28 Billion. This equates to $11,740 per person with asthma and includes;
- $24.7 Billion attributed to disability and premature death,
- $1.2 Billion on healthcare costs (including medication, hospital and out-of-hospital costs),
- $1.1 Billion in loss of productivity
- $72.9 Million in loss of wages for carers, and
- $289.4 Million in income support for carers of people with asthma
Impact of asthma
There were 39,500 hospitalisations in 2014-15 where asthma was the main diagnosis (171 per 100,000 population). Children under 15 are more likely to be hospitalised with asthma (451 per 100,000 population) than those aged 15 and over.
People with asthma are more likely to report a poor quality of life, especially those with severe or poorly controlled asthma.
34% of people report that asthma interferes with their daily living, and 21.8% of people aged 15-25 required time off work, school or study due to their asthma.
There were 441 deaths due to asthma in 2017. Asthma mortality rates are higher for people living in remote or lower socioeconomic areas, and for Indigenous Australians.
Download the Asthma in Australia Infographic here (PDF 1.2MB)
For more detailed information and asthma statistics click here.