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Death from asthma is uncommon. Effective management can reduce the risk.

According to the latest mortality information in Australia, there were 389 deaths due to asthma in Australia in 2013, which corresponds to a mortality rate of 1.5 per 100,000 population. The statistics presented in this section relate to deaths where asthma was listed as the underlying cause of death.

The rate of mortality due to asthma has remained steady at around 1.6 deaths per 100,000 population over the 10 years from 2004 to 2013.

Attribution of death due to asthma is more certain among those aged 5-34, thus this age group is commonly used for examining time trends. There has been little change in the rate of mortality due to asthma in this age group over the last 10 years, with the rate 0.4 per 100,000 population or lower.

For information on long-term trends, see General Record of Incidence of Mortality (GRIM) books.

Deaths from asthma, 2004–2013 (rate)

Stacked line chart showing (males 5-34; males all ages; females 5-34; females all ages); year (2004 to 2012) on the x axis; rate per 100,000 (0.0 to 2.5) on the y axis.

Notes

  1. Age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001. Asthma classified according to the International Statistical Classification of Disease, 10th revision (ICD-10) codes J45 and J46.
  2. Because attribution of death due to asthma is more certain among those aged 5–34, this age group is commonly used for examining time trends. In older people, other causes of death, in particular chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cause difficulties in the attribution of causes of death.

Source: AIHW analysis of AIHW National Mortality Database.

More people die from asthma in certain population groups

Certain population groups have a higher mortality rate for asthma. Asthma mortality rates are higher for people living in more remote areas and for people living in areas of lower socioeconomic status (AIHW 2014a). Asthma mortality rates are also higher among Indigenous Australians compared with non-Indigenous Australians. During the period from 2007 to 2011, the mortality rate for asthma among Indigenous Australians was 4.0 per 100,000 population, which was 2.3 times that of non-Indigenous Australians (1.7 per 100,000) (AIHW et al. 2014).

The differences between these population subgroups may be due to differences in smoking rates, access to preventative health services, or other social and environmental factors. Smoking rates are higher among people living in more remote areas, among people living in areas of lower socioeconomic status, and among Indigenous Australians (AIHW 2014).

For more information about asthma mortality, refer to Mortality from asthma and COPD in Australia (AIHW et al. 2014).


Source table

Deaths due to asthma per 100,000 population, people aged 5–34 and all ages, by sex, 2004-2013
Males
5–34
Females
5–34
Total 5-34 Males
all ages
Females
all ages
Total all ages
2004 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.2 1.7 1.5
2005 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.2 1.7 1.5
2006 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.6 2.1 1.8
2007 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.4 2.0 1.7
2008 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.6 2.1 1.9
2009 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.3 2.1 1.7
2010 0.4 0.3 0.3 1.4 1.9 1.7
2011 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.1 1.8 1.5
2012 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.2 1.7 1.5
2013 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.2 1.6 1.5

Notes
1. Age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001. Asthma classified according to the International Classification of Disease, 10th revision (ICD-10) codes J45 and J46.

2. Because attribution of death due to asthma is more certain among those aged 5–34, this age group is commonly used for examining time trends. In older people, other causes of death, in particular chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cause difficulties in the attribution of causes of death.

Source: AIHW analysis of the AIHW National Mortality Database.

References

ACAM (Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring) 2011. Asthma in Australia 2011: with a focus chapter on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Asthma series no. 4. Cat. no. ACM 22. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW, Poulos LM, Cooper SJ, Ampon R, Reddel HK and Marks GB 2014. Mortality from asthma and COPD in Australia. Cat. no. ACM 30. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2014. Australia's health 2014. Australia's health series no. 14. Cat. no. AUS 178. Canberra: AIHW.