Asthma ranks among the most common chronic conditions in the United States and Indiana. It causes airways to become narrow and swollen making breathing difficult. The most common asthma signs and symptoms are coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. People with asthma may be at risk of a life‐threatening asthma attack. Asthma affects an estimated 23 million people every year in the United States. In Indiana, an estimated 435,000 adults (18 years and older) reported having asthma in 2009.
Hospitalization and Emergency Room Visits
• There were more than 31,000 emergency room visits related to asthma in 2009 – an increase of nearly 3,000 (9.8%) from 2008.
• Nearly 9,100 hospitalizations were recorded due to asthma in 2009, which increased by 6.6 percent from 2008.
• There were 66 deaths from asthma in 2007, which translates into an age‐adjusted death rate of 1.03 per 100,000 in population.
• Twice as many women (n=46) than men (n=22) died from asthma in 2007.
Within the general population, asthma affects women more than men; however, among children, it affects males more than females. The burden of asthma has been increasing over the past 20 years, especially among children and certain minority populations.
• Among adults with asthma, females have higher prevalence (11.5%) than males (6.6%), higher rates of hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and higher mortality rates than males.
• The prevalence of asthma among on‐Hispanics (9.4%) is more than twice higher than Hispanics (4.3%).
• Blacks have higher hospitalization and emergency room visit rates than whites.
• Children younger than 5 and adults 65 and older have higher hospitalization rates for asthma compared to other age groups.
A Summary of Smoking Laws for Indiana
The Indiana smoking ordinance went into effect July 1, 2012, and it prohibits smoking in all public places with exemptions for casinos, retail tobacco shops, private clubs, and bars and casinos. If a municipality is not covered by a local smoking ban, it is subject to this statewide law.
The deadly habit of smoking causes problems that extend into every corner of life. According to the CDC, firsthand smoke (smoke inhaled directly) causes:
- Heart disease and reduced circulation,
- Stroke and aneurysm,
- Lung cancer and other lung diseases,
- Other forms of cancer
- Leukemia, bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidneys, larynx, mouth, pancreas, pharynx, stomach
- Infertility, stillbirth, and other reproductive issues
- Lower bone density
- Wrinkling, damaged teeth, and other signs of aging
Secondhand smoke (exhaled smoke breathed in by others) affects 126 million Americans on a daily basis. Nearly 50,000 deaths are attributed to secondhand smoke in a year, and between 150,000 and 300,000 children under the age of 18 months get respiratory infections from secondhand smoke. More than 40% of children who visit the emergency room for severe asthma attacks live with smokers. Serious problems associated with secondhand smoke include:
- Heart disease
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Respiratory Infections
- More severe and more frequent asthma attacks
- Ear infections
- Chronic cough
Exposure to smoke during pregnancy creates many problems for developing babies, ranging from premature delivery to mental retardation. Secondhand smoke can and should be avoided, especially for developing children.
For more information about Asthma in the United States and Worldwide, see the Asthma Fast Facts Sheet.