Facts about Asthma and Allergies
- Over 2 million Australians have diagnosed asthma.
- More than 7 million Australians suffer with allergies.
- About one in eight or nine children and one in ten adults have asthma.
- Australia has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world.
- The prevalence of allergic disorders has approximately doubled over the last 20 years in all countries in which it has been studied.
- More boys than girls have asthma. However, after teenage years, asthma is more common in women than in men.
- There is a strong link between asthma and allergy: more than 80% of people with asthma also have an allergy.
- Children are the group that most commonly visits general practitioners or emergency departments or is hospitalised for asthma.
- Health expenditure on allergic disease (including asthma) accounts for approximately 20% of health expenditure in Australia.
- Around 11% of children who have asthma live with smokers and are likely to be exposed to passive smoke.
- Despite the known additional health risks, just as many people with asthma smoke as people without asthma.
- Nearly 10% of adult-onset asthma is caused by occupational exposures.
- People with asthma report poorer general health and quality of life than people without asthma.
- Poorly controlled asthma restricts participation in normal physical and social activities.
- Most people with asthma lead normal lives and can participate competitively in sport. Many of Australia's leading sportsmen and women have asthma.
- In 2009, 411 people died from asthma - the latest figures. The risk of dying from asthma is highest in the elderly.
- At present the cause of asthma and allergy is not known and there is no cure. However effective treatments are available.
- Reduced exposure to allergen triggers may lead to improved control of asthma and reduce the need for medication.
There are a number of other Asthma Foundations of Australia. Contact your local Asthma Foundation on 1800 645 130 or visit their websites:
The information provided on this website is of a general nature and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. If you think you may suffer from an allergic or other disease that requires attention, you should discuss it with your family doctor.