Epidemiology

Paediatric asthma is the most common chronic respiratory disease in the developed world, with the highest prevalence found in English-speaking countries such as the US, the UK, and Australia.[4] The increasing prevalence previously reported appears to have plateaued or even declined, with a more recent US childhood prevalence of 8.5% reported.[5][6][7] In developing countries, the trend in the prevalence of asthma symptoms is mixed but generally increasing.[7] In mainland China, the prevalence of childhood asthma is low (2.1%) but has been increasing rapidly since 1998.[8] There is a variable sex effect, with a higher prevalence in prepubertal males and postpubertal females.[9][10] The exact aetiology remains unclear but may be hormone related.[11] Ethnic prevalence variability also exists; in the US, the highest rates have been found in black people.[12] There may be some under-reporting of its prevalence in ethnic minority populations.[13]

BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool for healthcare practitioners.

To continue reading and access all of BMJ Best Practice's pages you'll need to log in or start a free trial.

You can access through your institution if your hospital, university, trust or other institution provides access to BMJ Best Practice through either OpenAthens or Shibboleth.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer