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About asthma

Asthma is a long-term condition that affects a person's breathing. It is a significant cause of ill health and poor quality of life.

Asthma is a type of obstructive airways disease, as is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) .

This is a snapshot of the latest statistics on asthma in Australia. More detailed information can be found in Asthma in Australia 2011, and in other publications from the AIHW and the Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM).

Information in the asthma snapshot was last updated in January 2015.

Asthma by numbers

dash - 1 in 10 Australians suffer from Asthma PNG

1 in 10

Australians suffer from asthma. That's over 2 million people.

dash - 20% have a written asthma action plan PNG


Proportion of people aged 15 and over with asthma with a written asthma action plan. Children aged 0–14 were the most likely to have a written asthma action plan (41%).

dash - $655mil spent on asthma in 2008-09 PNG

$655 million

was spent on asthma in 2008–09. That's 0.9% of all direct health expenditure on diseases.

dash - 37,500 asthma hospitalisations in 2012-13 PNG


hospitalisations in 2012–13 where asthma was the principal diagnosis. That’s a hospitalisation rate of 168 per 100,000 population.

dash - 394 asthma deaths in 2012 PNG


deaths due to asthma in 2012 (0.3% of all deaths).