Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces
Health Status > Health Indicators

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airway characterized by episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. This disorder may be aggravated by allergens, tobacco smoke and other irritants, exercise, and infections of the respiratory tract. However, by taking certain precautions, persons with asthma may be able to effectively manage this disorder and participate in daily activities.

In 2005, women had higher rates of asthma than men (91.9 per 1,000 women versus 51.1 per 1,000 men); this was true in every racial and ethnic group. Among women, non-Hispanic Black women had the highest asthma rate (108.4 per 1,000 women), followed by non-Hispanic White women (93.8 per 1,000); Asian women had the lowest asthma rate (55.6 per 1,000).

A visit to the emergency room due to asthma can be an indication that the asthma is not effectively controlled. In 2005, asthmatic women with lower family incomes were more likely than women with higher family incomes to have an emergency room visit due to asthma. Among women with family incomes below 100 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL), 34.2 percent of those with asthma had visited the emergency room in the past year, compared to 19.2 percent of asthmatic women with family incomes of 300 percent or more of the FPL.


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Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.