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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that causes coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing. Quality of life can be affected not only by asthma attacks, but also by absences from work and limitations in other activities.Note 1
In 2012, 8.1% of Canadians aged 12 and older, roughly 2.4 million people, reported that they had been diagnosed with asthma by a health professional. This rate has remained stable since 2001.
Between 2001 and 2012, females were more likely than males to report that they had asthma.Note 2 In 2012, the rate was 9.4% for females compared with 6.8% for males (Chart 1).
Females were more likely than males to have asthma in all age groups, with the exception of those aged 12 to 19, and those aged 75 or older where there was no significant difference between the sexes (Chart 2).
In 2012, the highest rates of asthma for males were in the 12 to 19 and 20 to 34 age groups. For females, the rate of asthma was similar across most of the age groups.
The proportion of residents who reported having asthma was lower than the national average (8.1%) only in NunavutNote 3 (3.6%).
Residents of the other provinces and territoriesNote 3 reported rates that were about the same as the national average.
- Chen, Yue, Helen Johansen, Satha Thillaiampalam and Christie Sambell, 2005, “Asthma.” Health Reports. Vol. 16, no. 2. March. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 43. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2005/7790-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
- Note that a person has asthma if they reported that they had been diagnosed with asthma by a health professional.
- Note that the rates for Nunavut and Northwest Territories had coefficients of variation between 16.6% and 33.3%; interpret with caution.
Chen, Yue, Helen Johansen, Satha Thillaiampalam and Christie Sambell, 2005, “Asthma.” Health Reports. Vol. 16, no. 2. March. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 43–46. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2005/7790-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.
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