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KWIC Indicator Narrative

Asthma (Three-Year Average)

Data Provider: NYS Department of Health


Related Indicators:

Life Area:

Physical and Emotional Health


The asthma hospitalization rate is based on the number of hospitalizations for asthma per 10,000 population in each of the following age groups: birth through 4 years and 5 through 14 years.

Because the number of children hospitalized for asthma is very low in many counties, the asthma hospitalization rates are presented as three-year averages. Three-year averaging improves the reliability of the data in counties with small populations where slight variations in the number of children hospitalized for asthma can result in large fluctuations in their annual rates.


Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. Without effective management, asthma can have serious negative consequences for the health and functioning of involved children. Effective management includes control of exposure to environmental factors that trigger exacerbations, adequate pharmacological treatment, continual monitoring of the disease and patient (or parent) education (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).

Traditionally, high asthma hospitalization rates have been an indication of problems with access to or utilization of primary health care that provides such management.

The New York Public Health Council has identified access to primary health care as a priority area for public health action. By increasing access to primary health care, it seeks to reduce the number of hospitalizations for asthma for children ages birth through 14 years to no more than 29.0 per 10,000 by the year 2006 (New York State Public Health Council, 1996).

Healthy People 2010 objectives seek to reduce the rate of hospitalizations for children under age 5 years. The 2010 target is 25.0 per 10,000 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).



  • In New York State in 2012-2014, infants and preschool children (ages 0-4 years) were hospitalized for asthma at more than twice the rate of children age 5 through 14 years (49.3 versus 21.7, respectively). The total numbers hospitalized for asthma were not very different (5,794 children age 0-4, per year, and 5,052 children age 5-14, per year). However, the different population sizes of the different age groups meant the rates were different.


  • Children living in New York City were more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than were children living in Rest of State. In 2012-2014, hospitalizations for children aged 0 through 4 years in New York City were 71.6 per 10,000 children, compared to 29.3 per 10,000 children in the Rest of State. Bronx County had the highest rate at 146.6 per 10,000



New York State Public Health Council. 1996. Communities Working Together for a Healthier New York. Albany, NY: NYS Public Health Council.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2000. Healthy People 2010 (Conference Edition in Two Volumes). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

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