Prevalence of Asthma, Asthma Attacks, and Emergency Department Visits for Asthma Among Working Adults

National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2016
In 2010, an estimated 8.2% of U.S. adults had current asthma, and among these persons, 49.1% had had an asthma attack during the past year. Workplace exposures can cause asthma in a previously healthy worker or can trigger asthma exacerbations in workers with current asthma. To assess the industry- and occupation-specific prevalence of current asthma, asthma attacks, and asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits among working adults, CDC analyzed 2011–2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data for participants aged ≥18 years who, at the time of the survey, were employed at some time during the 12 months preceding the interview. During 2011–2016, 6.8% of adults (11 million) employed at any time in the past 12 months had current asthma; among those, 44.7% experienced an asthma attack, and 9.9% had an asthma-related ED visit in the previous year. Current asthma prevalence was highest among workers in the health care and social assistance industry (8.8%) and in health care support occupations (8.8%). The increased prevalence of current asthma, asthma attacks, and asthma-related ED visits in certain industries and occupations might indicate increased risks for these health outcomes associated with workplace exposures. These findings might assist health care and public health professionals in identifying workers in industries and occupations with a high prevalence of current asthma, asthma attacks, and asthma-related ED visits who should be evaluated for possible work-related asthma. Guidelines intended to promote effective management of work-related asthma are available.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6713a1.htm?s_cid=mm6713a1_e

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