Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. People with asthma experience episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways.
1 in 5 people aged 15 and over with asthma have a written asthma action plan, based on 2014–15 self-reported survey data
About 419 deaths were due to asthma in 2014 (0.3% of all deaths)
1 in 9 Australians reported asthma in 2014–15
Asthma is associated with poorer quality of life, with disease severity and the level of control both having an impact.
Asthma has varying degrees of impact on the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of people living with the condition. People with asthma are more likely to report a poor quality of life. This is more pronounced among people with severe or poorly controlled asthma [2,3].
Asthma is described as well-controlled when there are few symptoms and little reliever use (e.g. less than 3 days/week), and no night waking or limitation of activity. A 2012 survey of 2,686 Australians aged 16 years and older with current asthma found that asthma was not well-controlled in 45% of people with current asthma. More than half of this group were not using a preventer inhaler, or were using it infrequently.
In 2014–15, self-assessed health was, on average, worse among people with asthma, compared with people without the condition. People with asthma were less likely to report excellent health, and more likely to report fair or poor health .
Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard population.
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS Microdata: National Health Survey (NHS) 2014–15 (Data table).
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