Asthma and Allergy Statistics

  • In 1994, the estimated number of people with self-reported asthma in the United States was 14.6 million. The estimate for 1998 has risen to 17 million.
  • Asthma was diagnosed more often than any other illness of 468,000 U.S. hospital admissions in 1993.
  • In the United States in 1994, asthma affected an estimated 4.8 million children (under age 18) out of an estimated 68 million children. Asthmatic youngsters under age 15 were hospitalized 159,000 times in 1993, and stayed 3.4 days on average.
  • Asthma is only slightly more prevalent in African-American children than in white children. African-American children with asthma, however, experience more severe disability and have more frequent hospitalizations than do white children.
  • Estimates from a skin test survey suggest that allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States.
  • Allergy testing accounted for 1.4 million office visits to physicians in 1991.
  • Pollen allergy (hay fever or allergic rhinitis) affects an estimated 10% or 26 million Americans, not including those with asthma.
  • Allergic rhinitis is the reason for 9.2 million office visits to physicians yearly.
  • The estimated overall costs of allergic rhinitis in the United States in 1996 totalled $6 billion.
  • Chronic sinusitis affects nearly 35 million people in the United States.
  • Eight percent of children younger than 6 years old experience food intolerance(s).
  • A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis occurs in 3.3 percent of the U.S. population as a result of insect stings. At least 40 deaths per year result from insect sting anaphylaxis.

(Information provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)