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Chest. 1987 Jun;91(6 Suppl):65S-74S.

National trends in the morbidity and mortality of asthma in the US. Prevalence, hospitalization and death from asthma over two decades: 1965-1984.


National population-based data systems of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) were used to study the epidemiology of asthma in the United States over the last 20 years. Asthma is more prevalent among males, those living below the poverty level, persons living in the South and West, and blacks; however, this difference did not attain statistical significance. Death rates from asthma among the older age groups probably increased between 1968 and 1982, with a substantial increase since 1979. For children, the evidence is less clear, but the death rate has increased for children over five years of age during the period from 1979 to 1982. Between 1964 and 1980, asthma has become more prevalent in children under 17 years of age, but this does not reflect an increase in the severity of asthma over this same time period. Hospitalization rates for asthma between 1965 and 1983 increased by 50 percent in adults and by over 200 percent in children. Rates for black patients are 50 percent higher in adults and 150 percent greater in children. It is concluded that there has been a marked increase in hospitalization rates for asthma, a moderate increase in death rates from asthma and a smaller increase in overall prevalence of the disease in the United States.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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