Pennsylvania Asthma Surveillance System
The Pennsylvania Asthma Surveillance System assesses the burden of asthma by systematically collecting asthma-related data from a number of data sources and analyzing that data to measure:
- The Prevalence of Asthma
- Indicators of Asthma Management and Control
- Hospitalizations Related to Asthma (Morbidity)
- Asthma-Related Deaths (Mortality)
Main Asthma Data Sources of Pennsylvania Asthma Surveillance System
Pennsylvania Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) measures asthma prevalence (both lifetime and current) by an annual sample telephone survey of Pennsylvania adults and collects information regarding age, gender, race, county, ethnicity, income, education, etc. BRFFS is implemented by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and is conducted in all 50 states, 3 territories and the District of Columbia .
Bureau of Health Statistics and Research provides asthma mortality data. Data are available statewide by county, age group, race/ethnicity, and gender.
Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) provides asthma discharge data, such as length of stay, hospital charges, payment source, admission type, etc. Data are reported from annual reporting by Pennsylvania hospitals by patient home county code, sex, age and race/ethnicity.
Bureau of Community Health Systems provides the count of the total number of students with a medical diagnosis of asthma.
Department of Public Welfare provides asthma prevalence data, inpatient asthma hospitalization discharge data, office visits and Emergency Room (ER) visits by sex, age, and county, cost ofmedical service and medications.
Children's Health Insurance Program provides asthma ER data visits, and asthma hospitalization data by age, sex, and county.
Adult Lifetime Asthma Prevalence (18 and older):
In 2011, the estimated prevalence of lifetime asthma among adults was 13 percent. Approximately 1.3 million adults indicated that they have been told at some point in their lives that they have asthma.
Adult Current Asthma Prevalence (18 and older):
In 2011, the estimated prevalence of current asthma among adults was 9 percent. Approximately 899,000 adults indicated that they currently have asthma.
Child Lifetime Asthma Prevalence (under age 18):
In 2011, the estimated prevalence of lifetime asthma among children was 14 percent. Approximately 386,000 children indicated that they have been told at some point in their lives that they have asthma.
Child Current Asthma Prevalence (under age 18):
In 2011, the estimated prevalence of current asthma among children was 10 percent. Approximately 276,000 children indicated that they currently have asthma.
In 2011, more boys than girls had current asthma (13 percent vs. 7 percent), and lifetime asthma (17 percent vs. 10 percent).In 2010, black children were approximately twice as likely to have current asthma as white children (17 percent vs. 8 percent).
In 2011, the prevalence estimate of current asthma among adults (percent):
Males: 7 Females: 11
Whites, non-Hispanics: 8 Blacks, non-Hispanics: 13
In 2011, the prevalence estimate of lifetime asthma among adults (percent):
Males: 11 Females: 15
Whites, non-Hispanics: 12 Blacks, non-Hispanics: 19
(Source: 2010-2011 PA BRFSS)
Asthma Prevalence among School Students (ages 5-18):
In 2010-2011, approximately 11.9 percent of school students enrolled in Pennsylvania schools (228,872 out of an average daily enrollment of 1,926,110) had asthma confirmed by physician.
(Source: PA Bureau of Community Health Systems, Division of School Health)
These data were provided by the Bureaus of Health Statistics and Research and Community Health Systems, Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department specifically disclaims responsibility for any analysis, interpretations or conclusions.
Asthma Hospitalizations in Pennsylvania
- Asthma age-adjusted inpatient hospitalization rate was 16.8
- Approximately 21,410 admissions due to asthma occurred in Pennsylvania
- Average length of stay for each asthma hospitalization was just over 3 days
- Approximately $541,050,208 was charged in Pennsylvania for hospitalizations due to asthma
- $25,270 was the average charge for each asthma hospitalization
- Medicaid was the major payer in Pennsylvania and accounted for approximately 37 percent of the total hospitalization charges
- Approximately 74 percent of all admissions due to asthmas the primary discharge diagnosis entered hospitals through Emergency Room
- Inpatient hospitalization rates among children with asthma as the primary discharge diagnosis were significantly higher compared to adults (22.7 vs. 15.2 per 10,000 population)
- Age-adjusted asthma hospitalization rates per 10,000 Pennsylvania residents:
- Males: 13.1 Females: 20.1
- Whites: 10.1 Blacks: 52.3
- Hispanics: 26.9 Non-Hispanics: 16.1
(Source: 2011 PHC4)
Asthma as the Underlying Cause of Death in Pennsylvania
- The age-adjusted asthma mortality rate was 0.9
- 122 Pennsylvania adults died from asthma as the underlying cause of death
- 4 Pennsylvania children died from asthma as the underlying cause of death
- In 2010, the age-adjusted asthma death rates with asthma as the underlying cause of death among females were higher than among males (1.0 vs. 0.7 deaths per 100,000 population), and significantly higher than among whites (2.2 vs. 0.7 deaths per 100,000 population)
- Among Pennsylvania residents, the age-adjusted mortality rate was the highest in Philadelphia County (1.7 deaths per 100,000 population)
- Death rates in 2010 by race and sex per 100,000 Pennsylvania residents:
- White Males: 0.6 Black Males: 2.1
- White Females: 1.1 Black Females: 3.5
(Source: Pennsylvania Vital Statistics)
These data were provided by Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and the Bureau of Health Statistics and Research, Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department specifically disclaims responsibility for any analysis, interpretations or conclusions.
Asthma Related Disparities
Mortality rates in Pennsylvania indicate potential asthma related disparities associated with race/ethnicity, gender and age:
In 2004, the Pennsylvania age-adjusted asthma mortality rate was:
- 9 per million for White/Caucasians
- 28 per million for Black/African Americans
The three year average (2002-2004) age-adjusted death rates in Pennsylvania for females (of any race/ethnicity) were higher overall than for males (females: 13 per million; males: 10 per million); for some age groups, death rates for females were about two times higher than for males.
As age increases, mortality rates appear to increase in Pennsylvania. Three year average (2002-2004) age-adjusted death rates show:
- Ages 65 years and older: 41.8 deaths per million
- Ages 35-64: 12.9 deaths per million
- Ages 15-34: 4.3 deaths per million
- Ages 0-14: 2.8 deaths per million
Death rates for those 65 and older were about three times greater than those aged 35-64 and about nine times the rate of those aged 15-34 and about fourteen times the rate of those aged 0-14.
(Source: Pennsylvania Vital Statistics)