Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs. If a person has asthma, the inside of these airways is irritated and swollen. Asthma can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.
Large racial, income, and geographic disparities exist in asthma prevalence. It is one of the leading chronic health conditions among children. Asthma causes lower quality of life, and large direct and indirect economic costs.
In 2007, a CDC study showed that 34 million or 1 in 9 Americans had been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetimes. Of that 34 million, 12.3 million had experienced an asthma attack in the previous year. In 2006, asthma was responsible for 1.6 million emergency department visits, and almost half a million hospitalizations.
This symbol means you are leaving the CDC.gov Web site. For more information, please see CDC's Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.
Copyrighted images: Images on this website which are copyrighted were used with permission of the copyright holder and are not in the public domain. CDC has licensed these images for use in the materials provided on this website, and the materials in the form presented on this website may be used without seeking further permission. Any other use of copyrighted images requires permission from the copyright holder.
Tracking Hot Topics
- The Road to Better Health: Promoting Cancer Prevention in Your Community
- CDC's Cancer Control and Prevention
- The Topic is Cancer - CDC Blog
- American Cancer Society - Cancer Infographics
- Tracking Fellowship Milestone
- View our Tracking Success Stories to learn how Tracking is making a difference across the U.S.