Asthma is a respiratory condition affecting the airways of the lungs, causing episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to the narrowing of the airways. Asthma may affect people of all ages and can usually be managed through treatment such as medication use and managing lifestyle behaviours which can assist in avoiding and reducing asthma symptoms.
Who had asthma in 2017-18?
Around 2.7 million Australians (one in nine or 11.2% of the total population) had asthma in 2017-18. Over the last 10 years, the prevalence of asthma increased in the Australian population from 9.9% in 2007-08 to 11.2% in 2017-18. Since 2014-15, the prevalence of asthma in the population remained steady (10.8%).
Females had higher rates of asthma than males in 2017-18 (12.3% compared with 10.2%). However, asthma was more common among boys aged 0-14 years (12.1%) than girls (7.9%), with this pattern being consistent since 2001.
The prevalence of asthma was higher for people living in Inner Regional (12.9%) or Outer Regional and Remote Australia (12.7%) compared with those living in Major Cities (10.6%).