While asthma was included in the analysis of all respiratory conditions, hospitalisations with a principal diagnosis of asthma (ICD-10-AM codes J45—J46) were analysed separately, due to the known association between air pollution from bushfires and asthma (see Australian bushfires 2019–20: exploring the short-term health impacts).
Nationally, there were increases in the hospitalisation rate for asthma coinciding with increased bushfire activity during the 2019—20 bushfire season. The greatest increase was 36% in the week beginning 12 January 2020—2.4 per 100,000 persons (about 600 hospitalisations), compared with the previous 5-year average of 1.7 per 100,000 (an average of about 420 hospitalisations).
To explore national data and data for states and territories, see interactive data visualisations below (for data tables see Supplementary table S1).
Admitted patient hospitalisation rate, by jurisdiction, asthma (ICD-10-AM codes J45–J46), weeks in 2019–20 bushfire season relative to previous 5-year average