New Comprehensive Data Report Showcases Burden of Asthma in California

“Approximately five million Californians have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives, and almost three million currently have asthma. Over one in five with current asthma are considered to have very poorly controlled asthma. Asthma results in an estimated 11.8 million days of work/usual activities missed per year among adults and 1.2 days of school/day care missed per year among children.” These and other compelling statistics are compiled in “Asthma in California: A Surveillance Report” from California Breathing at the California Department of Public Health. The report is one of the best sources of data on asthma in the state.

Included in the Report:

  • Asthma rates over time and by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and other characteristics
  • Comparisons ofCalifornia’s rates to national goals
  • Data on asthma prevalence, morbidity, health care utilization & health care quality
  • Special sections on environmental risk factors and work-related asthma

Key Findings:

  • Approximately five million Californians – or one in eight people – have been diagnosed with asthma.
  • In 2010, there were almost 35,000 asthma hospitalizations in California, which resulted in over $1 billion in annual charges.
  • There are dramatic differences in asthma by race/ethnicity. This is most striking for Blacks, who have 40 percent higher asthma prevalence, four times higher asthma ED visit and hospitalization rates, and two times higher asthma death rates than Whites.
  • Areas with lower median incomes have higher rates of asthma hospitalizations and ED visits, and adults with lower incomes are less likely to have well-controlled asthma.
  • On average, people with asthma are exposed to 2-3 asthma triggers in the home.
  • About 10 percent of adults and 5 percent of children with current asthma are exposed to secondhand smoke in the home.

For questions or comments, or to request a hard copy, please email The report is available online.