Skip Navigation Links
ICD Code: 493. Asthma

ICD Code: 493. Article Review
Title: Shafazand S et al; "Asthma: The Epidemic Has Ended, or Has It?" Chest; V.125; No.6; 6/04; p1969
      APPARENT TRENDS IN ASTHMA PREVALENCE: The principal source of data for the estimation of asthma prevalence in the U.S. is the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a multipurpose health survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. Due to survey revisions, the responses on questionnaires from 1997 onward are not directly comparable to those given prior to 1997.
      Is the asthma epidemic over in the U.S.? To discover the answer, it is necessary to examine trends reported for "lifetime asthma" and "attack rate" prevalence from 1997 to June 2003. The final results are not yet completely available for 2002 and 2003. In addition, sufficient time has not passed since the 2001 addition to the NHIS to comment on "current asthma prevalence" trends.
      Between 1997 and 1999, the lifetime asthma prevalence rate decreased by about 6% (96.6 per 1000 persons in 1997, to 90.9 per 1000 persons in 1999) but increased again by 25% to 2001 (113.4 per 1000 persons in 2001).
      As with lifetime asthma prevalence, the asthma attack rate decreased by 7.4% from 1997 to 1999 (41.8 per 1000 population in 1997, to 38.6 per 1000 population in 1999) but then increased significantly by 10% (42.6 per 1000 population) in 2002. Results for the first half of 2003 indicate an asthma attack rate of 40.1 per 1000 population.
      Despite a recent increase in lifetime asthma prevalence, estimates from the National Hospital Discharge Survey suggest a decline in the number of hospital discharges for asthma from 1988 to 2000. Similarly, mortality rates declined over the same time period.
      During the 1980s and early 1990s asthma prevalence trended upward in the U.S. followed by a brief, but not sustained, decline from 1997 to 1999. The 2001 NHIS data suggest that there has been a net increase in lifetime asthma prevalence in the U.S. since 1997. Thus, any conclusions about the end of the asthma epidemic in the U.S. are premature.

Search Criteria: Text - Chest; V.125; No.6; 6/04; p1969