The Impact of Asthma | American Lung Association

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The Impact of Asthma

Asthma is a major health problem. Nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, including more than 7 million children. Without proper treatment, asthma can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. There is no cure for asthma, but the good news is it can be managed and treated so you can live a normal, healthy life.

Asthma in Children

Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood, currently affecting an estimated 7.1 million children under 18 years old. It causes more than 10 million lost school days each year and is the third leading cause of hospitalization among kids. Asthma in young children can be hard to diagnose. Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether a child has asthma or another childhood condition because the symptoms can be similar. Learn more about special concerns with asthma in children.  

Asthma in Adults

The Burden of Asthma on Hispanics: Hispanics with asthma are less likely to be in the care of a regular doctor or clinic; less likely to be prescribed appropriate medicines; less likely to have access to specialized care; and more likely to end up being treated in the emergency department or hospitalized in a crisis. Learn more »

Asthma affects adults too. It leads to millions of lost work days each year. Asthma is a leading cause of limitations in daily activity and costs our nation $56 billion in healthcare costs annually. Work-related asthma is one of the most frequently reported occupational lung diseases. If you have asthma, exposures in the workplace can cause asthma symptoms. For some people, exposure to certain chemicals, irritants or allergens can cause asthma to develop for the very first time. Learn how you can keep your asthma in control at work.

It Can Be Treated

The good news is that asthma can be successfully treated. People with asthma can live active, productive lives. It's important to find a healthcare provider that you trust and feel comfortable visiting on a regular basis. Your healthcare provider will work with you to help you manage your disease.

Learn More

Asthma affects certain genders, races and ages differently than it does others. To learn more about these asthma facts and statistics, read the asthma factsheets:


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