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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 2014, 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 fairly consistent since 2001.
Between 2001 and 2014, females were more likely than males to report that they had asthma.Note 2 In 2014, the rate was 9.2% for females compared with 7.0% for males (Chart 1).
Females were more likely than males to have asthma for most age groups, except between ages 12 to 19, 45 to 54, and 65 to 74 where there was no significant difference (Chart 2).
Asthma rates tend to be higher for children and youths, though they may not suffer from it when they reach adulthood.Note 3 In 2014, males in the youngest age group (12 to 19) had higher rates than males aged 35 to 44 and 55 to 64. Conversely, females in the youngest age group did not have a significantly different rate from females in any other age group.
The proportion of residents who reported having asthma was lower than the national average (8.1%) in British Columbia (7.2%).
The proportion of residents who reported having asthma was higher than the national average in Quebec (9.1%).
Residents of the other provinces and territoriesNote 4 reported rates that were about the same as the national average.
Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.