Doctor supervises young girl using asthma inhaler

Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but adults can have asthma, too. Asthma affects all races, ages, and genders. Asthma attacks can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. We don’t know all the things that can cause asthma, but we do know that genetic, environmental, and occupational factors have been linked to developing asthma.

We Track That

The Tracking Network uses data from the U.S. Census Bureauexternal icon, hospital and emergency department data provided by state and local health departments, CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), and death certificates from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics to calculate state and local data about asthma.

Asthma data on the Tracking Network provide insights about people diagnosed and living with asthma and about people who experience asthma attacks.

Types of Data

The Tracking Network provides data on asthma hospital stays, emergency department visits for asthma, and asthma prevalence, which is the number of people diagnosed with and living with asthma.

Asthma Prevalence among Adults and Children*
Prevalence estimates are organized by different variables to estimate the number of people with asthma in different time periods and geographic areas, such as states and counties.  These data are collected from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), CDC’s National Asthma Control Program’s Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS), and from CDC’s Population Level Analysis and Community Estimates (PLACES) Project. PLACES data on the Tracking Network are available at the census tract level for all 50 states.

Emergency Department Visits for Asthma * ¶
This indicator estimates the number and rate of emergency department visits for asthma. These data can be used to identify trends and patterns of emergency department visits over time and in different geographic areas, such as states and counties.

Hospitalizations for Asthma * ¶
This indicator can be used to identify trends and patterns in the occurrence of asthma hospitalizations across time and space

* Asthma hospital admissions tend to be for more severe asthma attacks and do not include asthma among individuals who do not receive medical care, who are not hospitalized, or who are treated in outpatient settings. Differences between geographic areas may be the result of differences in the underlying population or in the diagnostic or coding techniques used by the reporting hospital.
¶ These data are supplied by health departments funded by the CDC Tracking Program.  

Data Highlight

In 2016, non-Hispanic Black children had higher rates of reported asthma compared to non-Hispanic White children in some states. Explore more asthma prevalence data among children.

Data in Action

You can use Tracking Network asthma data to:

  • Develop interventions to reduce the health burden from this disease
  • Identify which populations need targeted interventions
  • Evaluate prevention and control efforts
  • Discover trends and patterns over time and in different geographic areas

In addition, you can use the Tracking Network to review asthma data in relation to data on environmental conditions, health problems, and population characteristics to create a more complete picture of a community’s environmental public health.

Read these success stories to learn about asthma related work in our funded Tracking Programs.

California | Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Maryland | Massachusetts | New York | New York City | Pennsylvania | Vermont | Washington 

Learn More

Tracking Resources

Related Content Areas

More emergency department visit, hospitalization, and death data: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, COPD, Heart Attack, Heat Stress Illness

Explore Asthma Data
Data Explorer
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Create custom data visualizations, save, & share results

Quick Reports
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View data in simple charts

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Access machine-readable data

Page last reviewed: October 21, 2020