Asthma, 2013

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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 2013, 7.9% 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 is a decrease from 2011 (8.6%), though not different from 2012 (8.1%).

Between 2001 and 2013, females were overall more likely than males to report that they had asthma.Note 2 In 2013, the rate was 8.9% for females compared with 6.9% for males (Chart 1).

Chart 1

Description for Chart 1

Females were more likely than males to have asthma , starting at age 45.  Below this age,  there was no significant difference between the sexes (Chart 2).

Asthma rates tend to be higher in children and youths. However, young people with asthma may not suffer from it when they reach adulthoodNote 3. In 2013, the rate of asthma was highest for males in the 12 to 19 age group.   For females, the rate of asthma was higher in the 12 to 19 age group than all other ages except for those aged 55 to 74.

Chart 2

Description for Chart 2

The proportion of residents who reported having asthma was lower than the national average (7.9%) in:

  • Ontario (7.4%)
  • Northwest TerritoriesNote 4 (5.3%).

The proportion of residents who reported having asthma was higher than the national average only in New Brunswick (9.8%).

Residents of the other provinces and territoriesNote 4 reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

End note


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. (accessed May 10, 2010).


Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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