The numbers on people suffering from asthma

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

According to the statistics, over 230 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. The prevalence of asthma in the United States has steadily increased to its current level of 8.6 percent. In comparison, this rate was only 7.6 percent in 2001. The percentage of people diagnosed with asthma began to grow in 2013 (7.4 percent). In 2014 and 2015, the rates of people suffering from asthma amounted to 7.9 percent and 8 percent accordingly.

If we have a quick look at the chart showing us the prevalence of asthma among U.S. adults for the period between 2001 and 2014 (by weight and ethnicity), we see that almost 11 percent of obese non-Hispanic whites suffered from asthma, compared to just 8.9 percent of overweight people of the same race and 8.1 percent of non-overweight weight people of the same race.

The number of obese non-Hispanic black people suffering from asthma is also the highest – 13.6 percent compared to 7.5 percent of overweight black people and 6.6 percent of non-overweight people.

Approximately 9.6 percent of obese Hispanics suffered from asthma, compared to just 5.7 percent of non-overweight people and 4 percent of overweight people.


In analyzing the statistics on the U.S. states with the highest death rates from asthma in 2014, we see that Oregon had the highest death rate from asthma at 16.7 (per million population) deaths. South Carolina and Hawaii had nearly the same rate of 14.7 and 14.6 deaths per million from asthma respectively. Mississippi had the fourth-highest death rate from asthma (14.5), while New York had the fifth-highest at 14.3.


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About Pavel Prikhodko

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

Other posts by Pavel Prikhodko:

3 thoughts on “The numbers on people suffering from asthma”

  1. Can anyone clarify – or even theorize – for me, why data clearly identifies the significant contribution of obesity to prevalence of asthma, while none of the factors known to cause this disease are in no way related to obesity..

    1. Well, the data above can also be interpreted differently:
      Because Asthma sufferers often do not exercise or are unable to do sports, they may tend to gain weight.
      Having had asthma since very early childhood I became obese only in my thirties.

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