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UK Asthma Statistics from The National Asthma Campaign Website: http://www.asthma.org.uk/

Asthma: life and death

• On average, 1,500 people die from asthma each year in the UK. This equates to four people per day, or one person every six hours.

• About a third of deaths (34%) caused by asthma occur in people under the age of 65.

• An estimated 75% of admissions for asthma are avoidable and as many as 90% of the deaths (1,500) from asthma are preventable.

• There are 18,000 first or new episodes of asthma presented each week to GPs in the UK.

• A primary care organisation of 100,000 people is likely to experience on average 2–3 deaths from asthma per year.

• Respiratory disease now kills more people than coronary heart disease – that's one in four people in the UK.

Living with severe asthma

• Respiratory disease is the most common illness responsible for an emergency admission to hospital.

• We estimate 255,000 people in the UK are living with asthma that can not be controlled by inhalers or stronger medicine. This represents up to 5% of people with asthma.

• We estimate caring for patients who experience an asthma attack costs more than 3.5 times than for those who do not.

• Asthma now costs the NHS an average of £850 million per year.

• At a local level, the annual cost of managing asthma for an average sized primary care organisation has been estimated at £4 million.

Asthma in daily life

• Over 18 million working days are lost to asthma each year.

• There are four times as many people with asthma in the UK than with diabetes.

• 1.2 million people with asthma experience significant restrictions on their daily lives because of asthma.

• For 42% of people with asthma (2.1 million) their condition requires constant or repeated attention and their daily life is affected by a range of symptoms.

• Approximately 21% of people with asthma (1.1 million) experience severe restrictions while jogging or running.

• Approximately 17% of people with asthma (860,000) have severe difficulty walking upstairs or uphill.

• Up to 40% of people with asthma are sensitive to pet allergens.

• Up to 85% of people with asthma (4.3 million) are sensitive to house-dust mites.

Children, parents and asthma

• Every 16 minutes a child is admitted to hospital in England, Scotland or Wales because of their asthma.

• One in eight children has asthma and this figure has increased six-fold in the last 25 years.

• As many as 42% of the UK population have experienced wheezy illness by the time they reach their mid 30s.

• Approximately 30–50% of the risk of developing asthma is caused by hereditary factors. If one parent has asthma, the chance of their child developing asthma is approximately double that of children whose parents don’t have asthma.

• Smoking during pregnancy brings a 50% increased risk of your baby being wheezy or having breathing difficulties.

• Children whose parents smoke are 1.5 times more likely to develop asthma. The risk of asthma in school age children is increased by approximately 60% in children of smokers. Approximately 10–15% of childhood asthma may be attributable to parental smoking.

• Nearly a third of all long-term childhood illnesses are due to doctor-diagnosed asthma.

• Doctor-diagnosed asthma accounts for 5% of all consultations in children.

• A primary care organisation of 100,000 people could expect each year on average almost 4,000 children to be diagnosed with asthma and around 60 emergency admissions for childhood asthma.

• One in three children currently being treated for asthma (including one in five children with moderate to severe asthma) was seen by a healthcare professional less than once a year.

• The UK has the highest prevalence of severe wheeze in children aged 13–14 years worldwide.

Download the latest UK audit of children's asthma

The costs of asthma

• The estimated annual cost of treating a child with asthma (£181) is higher than the cost per adult with asthma (£162).

• The annual cost of hospital treatment for asthma per child under 5 years of age is almost six times greater (£198) than for a child aged 5–15 years (£34).

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