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Asthma: Asthma Burden

The North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics (SCHS) has a wealth of data on the morbidity and mortality of asthma at both the state and county levels. The folders below contain descriptions and links to more specific information on the SCHS web site.

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Mortality

Mortality Statistics for the State and by county are available on the County Level Detailed Mortality Statistics page. Under the ICD-10 code, asthma deaths are classified as either J45.x (Asthma) or J46.x (Status Asthmaticus).

[Coding terminology for asthma, as well as other diseases, changed with ICD-10, which began in 1999. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reports a comparability ratio of 0.8938 for the coding of asthma mortality under ICD-10 as compared to ICD-9. That is, about 11% fewer deaths will be coded as indicating that asthma was the underlying cause of death compared to those deaths coded under ICD-9 (National Asthma Training Curriculum).]

Morbidity

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a random telephone survey of state residents aged 18 and older in households with telephones. Through BRFSS, information is collected in a routine, standardized manner at the state level on a variety of health behaviors and preventive health practices related to the leading causes of death and disability. BRFSS interviews are conducted monthly and data are analyzed annually (on a calendar-year basis).

The annual survey began including asthma questions about the prevalence of lifetime and current asthma in the year 2000. The results are available on both a state and selected county basis. View the annual survey results to locate the year of data in which you are interested.

The Childhood Assessment and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) survey was developed in the fall of 2004 and implemented in January 2005. CHAMP is the first survey of its kind in North Carolina to measure the health characteristics of children, ages 0 to 17. Eligible children for the CHAMP survey are drawn each month from the BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) telephone survey of adults, ages 18 and older. All adult respondents with children living in their households are invited to participate in the CHAMP survey. One child is randomly selected from the household and the adult most knowledgeable about the health of the selected child is interviewed in a follow-up survey. All questions about the selected child are answered only by the most knowledgeable adult. CHAMP surveys will be revised each year to meet the child health surveillance needs of North Carolina.

N.C. BRFSS Data from 2011-2015

2015: a) Adults Ever Told Had Asthma b) Adults with Current Asthma

2014: a) Adults Ever Told Had Asthma b) Adults with Current Asthma

2013: a) Adults Ever Told Had Asthma b) Adults with Current Asthma

2012: a) Adults Ever Told Had Asthma b) Adults with Current Asthma

2011: a) Adults Ever Told Had Asthma b) Adults with Current Asthma

CAUTION: DO NOT COMPARE 2001-2010 N.C. BRFSS DATA WITH DATA FROM 2011 FORWARD. Beginning in 2011, the Division of Behavioral Surveillance (DBS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made two major changes to the BRFSS Survey methodology. These changes were designed to improve the accuracy of BRFSS estimates; however the results using these new methods are not comparable to BRFSS estimates from previous years1. The first change was the adoption of an improved weighting method called iterative proportional fitting, commonly referred to as “raking.”  Raking is a technique for weighting the survey data, whereby the weighted respondent data is made more comparable to the characteristics of the target population, such as the proportion of Hispanic adults in the state.  Raking improves the representativeness of state estimates by including socio-economic factors, such as education and marital status, in the final survey weights.  The former post-stratification methodology, was limited to adjusting the final weights by categories of age, race and sex and is no longer utilized. The second change was the addition of cell phone interviews to the BRFSS. Adoption of cell phones (with no landline phone) has been particularly evident among younger adults and racial/ethnic minorities. Adding cell phone interviews improves the BRFSS coverage of these groups. As a result of these changes, the BRFSS will better represent lower-income and minority populations and provide more accurate prevalence estimates. However, it will no longer be possible to compare results from 2011 or later BRFSS surveys to results from earlier years of BRFSS data.  It is also likely that prevalence estimates will be somewhat higher as a result of the change in methods for behaviors that are more common among younger adults and/or minorities.

N.C. BRFSS Data from 2001-2010

CHAMP Data

The Childhood Assessment and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) is the first survey in North Carolina to measure the health characteristics of children, ages 0 to 17. Eligible children for the CHAMP survey are drawn each month from the BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) telephone survey of adults, ages 18 and older. All adult respondents with children living in their households are invited to participate in the CHAMP survey. One child is randomly selected from the household and the adult most knowledgeable about the health of the selected child is interviewed in a follow-up survey. All questions about the selected child are answered only by the most knowledgeable adult.

Caution: DO NOT COMPARE 2005-2010 N.C. CHAMP DATA WITH DATA FROM 2011 FORWARD. Beginning in 2011, two major changes were made to the BRFSS Survey methodology which impacted the CHAMP survey (see BRFSS caution above). As a result, is not possible to compare results from 2011 or later CHAMP surveys to results from earlier years of CHAMP data (2005-2010). 

Hospitalization Data

The SCHS has hospital discharge data on several diagnoses, including asthma (ICD-9 493.x). Rates are available for all persons, as well as those ages 0-14. Use caution interpreting the rates based on less than 20 discharges. These are rates per 100,000.

In October of 2015, medical coding for inpatient hospital discharges changed from ICD-9CM to ICD-10CM. Due to the magnitude of the changes and coding differences, CY2015 inpatient hospital discharge data is not available.

Special Reports Related to Asthma Published by N.C. DHHS Agencies

N.C. Medicaid Recipients with Asthma