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Asthma Statistics by State: What You Need to Know About Current and Lifetime Asthma Prevalence

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Asthma is among the leading chronic diseases in the United States, affecting 1 in 12 adults and nearly 1 in 10 children, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also accounts for billions of dollars in annual costs, 14.2 million visits to a physician and 439,000 inpatient discharges.

To better understand asthma’s impact, the CDC administers and supports a statewide data collection program called the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System. The BRFSS conducts telephone surveys on a sample of the U.S. adult population to monitor the prevalence of diseases such as asthma that are associated with premature morbidity and mortality.

The survey is focused on self-reported lifetime and current prevalence of asthma in adults. Lifetime prevalence is defined as a positive response to the question, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have asthma?” Current asthma prevalence is defined as an affirmative response to the previous question, followed by a positive response to this question: “Do you still have asthma?” We present the CDC statewide prevalence data and include state population and population density (per square mile) for additional context.

2012 Adult Self-Reported Asthma Prevalence Rate (%) by State

Rank State Prevalence (%) 95% Cl* (%) # of people surveyed State population Population density
(per sq mi.)
1 Kentucky 11.1 (10.1 – 12.0) 11,127  4,339,367  111.3
2 Maine 11.1 (10.3 – 11.9) 9,843  1,328,361  43.1
3 Vermont 10.9 (9.8 – 12.0) 6,022  625,741  68.0
4 Massachusetts 10.8 (10.2 – 11.5) 21,550  6,547,629  858.0
5 Rhode Island 10.8 (9.6 – 11.9) 5,449  1,052,567  1,017.1
6 Oregon 10.6 (9.5 – 11.8) 5,235  3,831,074  40.9
7 Michigan 10.5 (9.6 – 11.3) 10,421  9,883,640  175.0
8 Ohio 10.5 (9.7 – 11.2) 12,963  11,536,504  283.2
9 Missouri 10.4 (9.3 – 11.5) 6,710  5,988,927  87.9
10 District of Columbia 10.3 (8.6 – 11.9) 3,787  601,723  10,588.8
11 New Hampshire 10.2 (9.2 – 11.3) 7,477  1,316,470  147.8
12 Oklahoma 10.2 (9.3 – 11.0) 7,974  3,751,351  56.1
13 West Virginia 10.2 (9.2 – 11.2) 5,380  1,852,994  77.1
14 Pennsylvania 10.1 (9.4 – 10.8) 19,818  12,702,379  285.5
15 Connecticut 9.9 (9.0 – 10.9) 8,705  3,574,097  742.6
16 Delaware 9.9 (8.8 – 11.1) 5,150  897,934  475.1
17 Washington 9.7 (9.1 – 10.3) 15,174  6,724,540  104.9
18 Montana 9.5 (8.6 – 10.3) 8,624  989,415  7.0
19 New York 9.3 (8.3 – 10.3) 6,006  19,378,102  417.0
20 New Mexico 9.2 (8.5 – 10.0) 8,723  2,059,179  17.2
21 Indiana 9.1 (8.3 – 9.8) 8,577  6,483,802  183.4
22 Alaska 9 (7.8 – 10.2) 4,302  710,231  1.3
23 Maryland 9 (8.1 – 9.9) 12,747  5,773,552  610.8
24 Wyoming 9 (7.8 – 10.2) 6,229  563,626  6.0
25 Colorado 8.9 (8.2 – 9.6) 12,184  5,029,196  50.8
26 Hawaii 8.9 (7.9 – 9.9) 7,523  1,360,301  218.6
27 Utah 8.9 (8.2 – 9.5) 12,366  2,763,885  35.3
28 Arkansas 8.8 (7.7 – 9.8) 5,140  2,915,918  56.9
29 California 8.8 (8.2 – 9.5) 14,538  37,253,956  246.1
30 New Jersey 8.7 (8.0 – 9.4) 15,661  8,791,894  1,210.1
31 South Carolina 8.7 (7.9 – 9.4) 12,695  4,625,364  158.8
32 Virginia 8.7 (7.9 – 9.6) 7,348  8,001,024  209.2
33 Alabama 8.6 (7.7 – 9.4) 8,935  4,779,736  95.4
34 Arizona 8.6 (7.6 – 9.6) 7,241  6,392,017  58.3
35 Wisconsin 8.6 (7.4 – 9.7) 5,284  5,686,986  106.0
36 Idaho 8.5 (7.3 – 9.7) 5,838  1,567,582  19.5
37 Illinois 8.5 (7.4 – 9.6) 5,563  12,830,632  232.0
38 Kansas 8.4 (7.7 – 9.1) 11,740  2,853,118  35.4
39 Florida 8.2 (7.2 – 9.2) 7,579  18,801,310  364.6
40 Georgia 8.2 (7.2 – 9.1) 6,068  9,687,653  173.7
41 Iowa 8.1 (7.2 – 8.9) 7,132  3,046,355  55.3
42 Mississippi 8.1 (7.3 – 9.0) 7,735  2,967,297  63.7
43 Minnesota 8 (7.3 – 8.6) 12,173  5,303,925  68.1
44 North Carolina 7.7 (7.0 – 8.3) 11,823  9,535,483  202.6
45 Tennessee 7.7 (6.8 – 8.6) 7,023  6,346,105  157.5
46 North Dakota 7.6 (6.6 – 8.6) 4,850  672,591  10.5
47 South Dakota 7.5 (6.5 – 8.4) 7,825  814,180  11.1
48 Louisiana 7.4 (6.5 – 8.3) 9,027  4,533,372  107.1
49 Nebraska 7.4 (6.9 – 7.9) 19,053  1,826,341  24.3
50 Nevada 7.4 (6.3 – 8.4) 4,804  2,700,551  25.4
51 Texas 6.8 (6.1 – 7.6) 9,073  25,145,561  101.2

* CI stands for Confidence Interval


Lifetime Adult Self-Reported Asthma Prevalence Rate (%) by State

Rank State  Prevalence (%) 95% CI* (%) # of people surveyed    State population    Population density
(per sq. mi.)
1 Oregon 16.9 (15.5 – 18.3) 5,282  3,831,074  40.9
2 Kentucky 16 (14.9 – 17.1) 11,188  4,339,367  111.3
3 Rhode Island 15.9 (14.4 – 17.3) 5,466  1,052,567  1,017.1
4 Massachusetts 15.5 (14.7 – 16.3) 21,648  6,547,629  858.0
5 Michigan 15.5 (14.5 – 16.5) 10,465  9,883,640  175.0
6 Vermont 15 (13.7 – 16.3) 6,044  625,741  68.0
7 Washington 15 (14.2 – 15.8) 15,257  6,724,540  104.9
8 Maine 14.9 (14.0 – 15.9) 9,882  1,328,361  43.1
9 District of Columbia 14.7 (12.8 – 16.6) 3,810  601,723  10,588.8
10 California 14.4 (13.6 – 15.2) 14,560  37,253,956  246.1
11 Missouri 14.4 (13.2 – 15.7) 6,730  5,988,927  87.9
12 Connecticut 14.3 (13.2 – 15.4) 8,750  3,574,097  742.6
13 Hawaii 14.3 (13.1 – 15.5) 7,558  1,360,301  218.6
14 New Hampshire 14.1 (12.9 – 15.3) 7,502  1,316,470  147.8
15 Alaska 14 (12.5 – 15.4) 4,318  710,231  1.3
16 Ohio 14 (13.2 – 14.9) 12,991  11,536,504  283.2
17 Oklahoma 14 (13.0 – 15.0) 7,992  3,751,351  56.1
18 New York 13.8 (12.5 – 15.1) 6,030  19,378,102  417.0
19 Montana 13.7 (12.7 – 14.7) 8,653  989,415  7.0
20 Delaware 13.6 (12.3 – 14.9) 5,166  897,934  475.1
21 Alabama 13.5 (12.3 – 14.6) 8,976  4,779,736  95.4
22 Arizona 13.5 (12.3 – 14.8) 7,282  6,392,017  58.3
23 Pennsylvania 13.5 (12.8 – 14.3) 19,896  12,702,379  285.5
24 Maryland 13.4 (12.4 – 14.5) 12,787  5,773,552  610.8
25 Virginia 13.4 (12.3 – 14.5) 7,369  8,001,024  209.2
26 New Mexico 13.3 (12.4 – 14.2) 8,756  2,059,179  17.2
27 South Carolina 13.1 (12.2 – 14.0) 12,756  4,625,364  158.8
28 Georgia 13 (11.8 – 14.3) 6,089  9,687,653  173.7
29 Indiana 13 (12.0 – 13.9) 8,612  6,483,802  183.4
30 Colorado 12.9 (12.1 – 13.8) 12,231  5,029,196  50.8
31 Utah 12.9 (12.1 – 13.7) 12,396  2,763,885  35.3
32 West Virginia 12.7 (11.7 – 13.8) 5,392  1,852,994  77.1
33 Arkansas 12.6 (11.3 – 13.9) 5,167  2,915,918  56.9
34 Florida 12.6 (11.4 – 13.8) 7,601  18,801,310  364.6
35 Illinois 12.5 (11.2 – 13.9) 5,573  12,830,632  232.0
36 New Jersey 12.4 (11.6 – 13.2) 15,723  8,791,894  1,210.1
37 Wyoming 12.3 (10.9 – 13.7) 6,258  563,626  6.0
38 Louisiana 12.1 (11.0 – 13.2) 9,050  4,533,372  107.1
39 Kansas 11.9 (11.1 – 12.7) 11,768  2,853,118  35.4
40 Iowa 11.7 (10.7 – 12.7) 7,148  3,046,355  55.3
41 Mississippi 11.7 (10.6 – 12.7) 7,760  2,967,297  63.7
42 North Carolina 11.7 (10.9 – 12.5) 11,863  9,535,483  202.6
43 Idaho 11.6 (10.1 – 13.0) 5,863  1,567,582  19.5
44 Nevada 11.6 (10.3 – 12.9) 4,827  2,700,551  25.4
45 Minnesota 11.3 (10.5 – 12.1) 12,216  5,303,925  68.1
46 Wisconsin 11.1 (9.8 – 12.4) 5,288  5,686,986  106.0
47 Tennessee 11 (9.9 – 12.2) 7,036  6,346,105  157.5
48 South Dakota 10.9 (9.8 – 12.0) 7,856  814,180  11.1
49 Texas 10.9 (10.0 – 11.8) 9,105  25,145,561  101.2
50 Nebraska 10.8 (10.2 – 11.5) 19,105  1,826,341  24.3
51 North Dakota 10.5 (9.3 – 11.8) 4,868  672,591  10.5

* CI stands for Confidence Interval

 

Findings

The BRFSS is the largest telephone survey in the world. A total of 31,646,479 were surveyed—approximately 10% of the total U.S. population.

  • Oregon has the highest lifetime self-reported asthma prevalence rate (16.9%) in adults
  • At 10.5%, North Dakota has the lowest lifetime self-reported asthma prevalence rate in adults
  • Kentucky had the highest self-reported prevalence rate (11.1%) of asthma in 2012 in adults
  • Texas had the lowest self-reported prevalence rate (6.8%) of asthma in 2012 in adults

States with highest lifetime asthma prevalence rates

  1. Oregon – 16.9%
  2. Kentucky – 16%
  3. Rhode Island – 15.9%
  4. Massachusetts – 15.5%
  5. Michigan – 15.5%
  6. Vermont – 15%
  7. Washington – 15%
  8. Maine – 14.9%
  9. District of Columbia – 14.7%
  10. California – 14.4%

 

States with the lowest lifetime prevalence rate (lowest first)

  1. North Dakota – 10.5%
  2. Nebraska – 10.8%
  3. Texas – 10.9%
  4. South Dakota – 10.9%
  5. Tennessee – 11%
  6. Wisconsin -11.1%
  7. Minnesota – 11.3%
  8. Nevada – 11.6%
  9. Idaho – 11.6%
  10. North Carolina – 11.7%

 

States with the highest asthma prevalence rates in 2012

  1. Kentucky – 11.1%
  2. Maine – 11.1%
  3. Vermont – 10.9%
  4. Massachusetts – 10.8%
  5. Rhode Island – 10.8%
  6. Oregon – 10.6%
  7. Michigan – 10.5%
  8. Ohio – 10.5%
  9. Missouri – 10.4%
  10. District of Columbia – 10.3%

 

States with the lowest asthma prevalence rates for 2012 (lowest first)

  1. Texas – 6.8%
  2. Nevada – 7.4%
  3. Nebraska – 7.4%
  4. Louisiana – 7.4%
  5. South Dakota – 7.5%
  6. North Dakota – 7.6%
  7. Tennessee – 7.7%
  8. North Carolina – 7.7%
  9. Minnesota – 8%
  10. Mississippi – 8.1%

 

Asthma can affect every aspect of an individual’s life. To learn more about asthma symptoms, triggers, medications and treatment, check out this resource page. Saving money on common asthma medications such as Albuterol, Advair, Flovent and Singulair is important for asthma sufferers. These tips can help.


Woman taking breathing test image via Shutterstock.