Asthma Control: Improving Quality of Life and Reducing Costs

In 2005, nearly 4,000 Americans died of asthma. Asthma’s impact on health, quality of life, and the economy remain substantial.

The initial onset of asthma cannot be prevented, and asthma cannot be cured. However, asthma can be controlled. People who have asthma can lead high-quality, productive lives. Asthma can be controlled by following a medical management plan and avoiding contact with environmental “triggers.” These triggers include allergens such as mold, pet dander, cockroaches, and dust mites, or irritants such as tobacco smoke, certain chemicals, and other environmental exposures.

Asthma’s Impact on the U. S. Population

In 2005, an estimated

  • 32.6 million people had been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetime
  • 22.2 million people currently were diagnosed with asthma
  • 12.2 million people experienced an asthma attack in the previous year

In 2004, asthma accounted for

  • 13.6 million doctor visits
  • 1.1 million hospital outpatient visits
  • 1.8 million emergency department visits
  • 497,000 hospitalizations



CDC National Center for Health Statistics

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Page last reviewed: April 24, 2009