Uncontrolled Asthma among Children, 2012–2014

Fifty percent of children with current asthma had uncontrolled asthma

Controlled asthma has a minimal impact on everyday living. Uncontrolled asthma with frequent and intense episodes of symptoms can have a significant cost to families and society because it may relate to an increased risk of an emergency department visit, hospitalization, and work and school absenteeism. Asthma control was classified as well-controlled or uncontrolled based on the national asthma guidelines.*

A total of 50.3% of children with current asthma had uncontrolled asthma. The level of asthma control varies by demographic characteristics and state. The percentage with uncontrolled asthma was higher among children aged 0-4 years (59.1%) and blacks (62.9%). It also varies by state but does not seem to follow a specific geographic pattern. The percentage with uncontrolled asthma for children ranged from 24.1% in Rhode Island to 68.0% in Louisiana. (See maps above).

CDC’s National Asthma Control Program (NACP) was created in 1999 to help the millions of people with asthma in the United States gain control over their disease. The NACP conducts national asthma surveillance and funds states to help them improve their asthma surveillance and to focus efforts and resources where they are needed.
Percentage with Uncontrolled Asthma by Demographics
bar graph detailing uncontrolled asthma in children by demographics

Abbreviation: NH, Non-Hispanic

Percentage with Uncontrolled Asthma by Demographics – Children
Characteristic Prevalence
95% Confidence
Male 48.2 43.9 – 52.6
Female 53.0 47.8 – 58.2
0-4 years 59.1 48.9 – 68.5
5-11 years 54.0 48.8 – 59.0
12-17 years 43.2 38.6 – 47.8
NH White 45.4 41.8 – 49.0
NH Black 62.9 54.7 – 70.5
Hispanic 55.7 42.7 – 67.9
NH Other 51.0 41.8 – 60.2

Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)—Child Asthma Call-back Survey Data, 2012-2014

*National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert panel report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, 2007. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.pdf.

Includes persons who answered “yes” to the questions: “Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that you had asthma?” and “Do you still have asthma?”

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