Current Asthma Prevalence by Weight Status Among Adults: United States, 2001–2014

Asthma is a common chronic airway disorder characterized by periods of airflow obstruction known as asthma attacks. Symptom frequency can range from intermittent to constant, and attack severity can vary from mild to life threatening.

Several studies have shown that among adults, obesity is associated with an increased risk of asthma diagnosis, more frequent asthma-related health care use, and greater symptom or severity burden.

In a new NCHS report, current asthma prevalence is examined by weight status among U.S. adults aged 20 and over.

Findings:

  • In 2011–2014, current asthma prevalence was 8.8% among adults. It was higher among adults with obesity (11.1%) compared with adults in normal weight (7.1%) and overweight (7.8%) categories.
  • Women with obesity had higher current asthma prevalence (14.6%) than those in normal weight (7.9%) and overweight (9.1%) categories. Current asthma prevalence did not differ significantly by weight status for men.
  • Current asthma prevalence was highest among adults with obesity for all race and Hispanic origin groups and age groups.
  • Overall current asthma prevalence among adults increased from 2001–2002 (7.1%) to 2013–2014 (9.2%). By weight status, prevalence increased among overweight adults but not among adults in the obese or normal weight categories.

 

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