The prevalence of adult asthma in the United States increased between 2009 and 2014 before levelling out between 2015 and 2018, according to study results published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Asthma prevalence data was collated from the series of nationally representative interviews and health examinations known as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey carried out every 2 years compared between groups. These data were then standardized by applying the 2000 US Census population as the standard age distribution and estimating age-adjusted asthma prevalence overall and by demographic and clinical covariates.

Of the 28,733 participants who completed the interview, 2468 were defined as having current asthma. The age-adjusted prevalence of current asthma in 2009 to 2010, 2011 to 2012, 2013 to 2014, 2015 to 2016, and 2017 to 2018 was 7.1%, 8.5%, 9.2%, 9.0% and 8.9%, respectively. Overall, the prevalence increased linearly from 2009 to 2014, and flattened out between 2015 and 2018.

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“[I]t should be noted that the prevalence of current asthma reached 8.9% in 2017-2018, which doubled in the recent 25 years and highlights the needs for sustained attention to adult asthma prevention and control,” the study authors wrote. “The levelling off of prevalence may benefit from guideline implementation, increasing quality of care, and public health action to control asthma-related risk factors including smoking, air pollution and obesity.”

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Zhou Y, Liu Y. Recent trends in current asthma prevalence among US adults, 2009-2018 [published April 27, 2020]. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2020.04.041