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Asthma in Canada Published: ()

Asthma is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases in Canada. It affects Canadians of all ages, but younger Canadians are disproportionately affected.

Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. There is currently no cure for asthma; however, it can be well controlled by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding allergens and other triggers, quitting smoking, and taking medication properly. [PHAC Fact Sheet 2015]

The Public Health Agency of Canada works with all provinces and territories, through the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System, to collect and report national surveillance data on asthma.

A new publication, titled Report from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Canada, 2018, describes the burden of chronic respiratory diseases in Canada. Some of the report's highlights are presented in this blog.


3.8 million

The number of Canadians living with diagnosed asthma reached 3.8 million (10.8%) in 2011/12. Approximately 820,000 people sought medical attention due to their asthma during the same year. [PHAC CCDSS 2018]

67%

The proportion of Canadians living with diagnosed asthma increased by 67% between 2000/01 and 2011/12; from 2.1 million (6.5%) in 2000/01 to 3.8 million (10.8%) in 2011/12. On a positive note, the proportion of Canadians who needed medical attention due to their asthma declined by 18% during the same time period, from 908,000 (2.8%) in 2000/01 to 820,000 (2.3%) in 2011/12. [PHAC CCDSS 2018]


Children vs. Adults

Asthma disproportionately affects children and youth. In 2011/12, the proportion of children and youth living with diagnosed asthma was on average 62% greater than the proportion of adults (including seniors) diagnosed with the disease. [PHAC CDIIF 2016]

Would you like to see these estimates by age-groups? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.

Men vs. Women

During childhood and teenage years, asthma is more common among boys than among girls (18% vs. 13%). In adulthood however, a greater proportion of women are affected by the disease than men (11% vs. 8%). [PHAC CDIIF 2016]

Would you like to see age-group specific estimates for males and females? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.


1 in 200

One out of every 200 Canadians was newly diagnosed with asthma in 2011/12. That averages out to 443 newly diagnosed Canadians per day—or close to 3,100 every week!—during that year. [PHAC CCDSS 2018]

Geographic Differences

The proportion of Canadians living with asthma varies geographically; in 2011/12, the provincial and territorial proportions ranged from 3.8% to 12.1%. [PHAC CDIIF 2016]

Would you like to see how the provinces and territories compare? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.


Dive into the Data

Prevalence (%) of diagnosed asthma among Canadians aged 1 year and older, by sex and age group, in 2011/12

Table 1: Prevalence (%) of diagnosed asthma among Canadians aged 1 year and older, by sex and age group, in 2011/12
Age Group Female CI lower CI upper Male CI lower CI upper Total CI lower CI upper
1-4 4.714.664.767.567.507.626.176.136.21
5-9 11.3011.2311.3716.5616.4816.6414.0013.9414.05
10-14 15.7215.6415.8022.1722.0822.2619.0318.9619.09
15-19 17.0016.9217.0722.0621.9722.1419.5919.5319.65
20-24 14.0914.0214.1515.8415.7715.9114.9814.9315.03
25-29 11.0510.9911.119.999.9310.0410.5110.4710.56
30-34 10.1710.1210.237.057.007.108.638.598.67
35-39 10.0810.0310.146.596.546.648.358.318.39
40-44 10.059.9910.106.506.466.548.278.248.31
45-49 10.4810.4310.536.596.556.638.538.498.56
50-54 10.4510.3910.506.446.406.488.448.418.48
55-59 10.4810.4210.536.296.246.338.398.368.43
60-64 10.8710.8110.936.456.416.508.698.658.73
65-69 11.3511.2811.427.026.967.079.239.189.27
70-74 11.5611.4811.647.767.697.839.759.699.80
75-79 11.6211.5311.718.718.628.8010.2810.2210.34
80-84 11.4711.3711.579.499.399.6010.6310.5610.70
85+ 10.3310.2410.419.399.289.5110.019.9410.08

Age-standardized prevalence (%) of diagnosed asthma among Canadians aged 1 year and older, by province/territory, in 2011/12

Use the map below to discover the age-standardized prevalence (%) of diagnosed asthma in Canada. Navigate the map using the Next and Previous buttons or with Tab or Hover. To Zoom, use Click/Spacebar.

Legend (Asthma Prevalence %)





Description



The age-standardized prevalence of asthma in is . This is than the national prevalence of 10.78% by . That means that it has the rate of obesity among the in Canada.

This map was created using Canadian Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories.

Table 2: Age-standardized prevalence (%) of diagnosed asthma among Canadians aged 1 year and older, by province/territory, in 2011/12
Proportion of Population (Aged 1+) with Diagnosed Asthma (%) CI lower CI upper
CA10.7810.7710.8
BC9.179.159.2
AB9.929.899.95
SK10.1510.110.21
MB10.8210.7710.88
ON12.0812.0612.1
QC10.2110.1910.23
NB9.139.069.2
NS11.7711.711.84
PE10.6610.510.83
NL9.59.419.58
YT6.936.657.22
NT7.537.257.82
NU3.753.514.05


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