TABLE 5-5 Rates of Experiencing an Asthma Episode in the Past 12 Months Among Persons of All Ages, by Age Group and Gender: United States, 2003

Age and Sex

Rate per 1,000 Population

95% Confidence Interval

0-14 years

Total

54.4

49.2-59.7

Male

63.3

55.2-71.3

Female

45.2

38.0-52.4

15-34 years

Total

38.6

34.7-42.6

Male

30.4

25.0-35.9

Female

46.9

40.8-52.9

35 years and over

Total

32.2

29.5-34.9

Male

18.5

15.3-21.7

Female

44.4

40.3-48.5

 

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). Early release of selected estimates based on data from the January-March 2004 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), Figure 15.2.

Figure 5-8 illustrates that 181 out of 10,000 adults made outpatient visits for asthma in 2002. Figures 5-9 and 5-10 show that 24 of 10,000 made asthma emergency department visits and 13 were hospitalized. Figure 5-11 shows that 1.9 adults per 10,000 died from asthma in 2002. In 1996 death rates (rate per 20 million) for asthma in the group ages 15 to 24 are dramatically higher for blacks (20) than whites (.5) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1996).

Asthma in Military Populations

Complete asthma prevalence data for the military population are not available; however, recruitment data and a few small studies suggest that it is commonly observed among recruits and military personnel. Asthma has been among the top 10 conditions for which waivers are requested. Between May 2003 and April 2004, 3,700 applicants were rejected at one military entrance processing station for medical disqualifiers in the lungs and chest; approximately 38 percent of these sought and received a waiver. An analysis by gender, race, and Service branch shows that a smaller percentage of female enlistees received waivers (29 percent) compared with male enlistees (39 percent); a slightly higher percentage of white enlistees received waivers (40 percent) compared with black enlistees (34 percent); and a slightly lower percentage of Air Force enlistees (30 per-



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