Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Chronic Diseases

Asthma Prevalence and Incidence

Prevalence
Incidence

Prevalence

According to the Ontario Asthma Surveillance Information System (OASIS), in 2014, more than 85,000 Simcoe Muskoka residents were living with asthma. The 2014 crude asthma prevalence rate in Simcoe Muskoka of 15.2 per 100 was similar to provincial prevalence rate of 15.4 per 100.

There was a significant increasing trend in asthma prevalence in both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario as a whole from 1996 to 2014, with an average annual increase of approximately three per cent per year; however, growth in asthma prevalence has slowed since the mid-2000’s.

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In Simcoe Muskoka between 1996 and 2014, the crude asthma prevalence rates were higher among females when compared with males for the entire period. Both the male and female asthma prevalence rates in Simcoe Muskoka increased significantly over this period of time.

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In 2014 in Simcoe Muskoka, asthma prevalence rates were highest among older teens (15-19 years) and young adults (20-29 years), with more than one-in-five living with asthma. These rates were double the rates for young children less than five years of age and adults 40 years of age and older. The provincial age-specific asthma prevalence rates were higher than the Simcoe Muskoka rates for children and youth under 20 years of age. The Simcoe Muskoka age-specific prevalence rates were higher than the provincial rates for adults between 20 and 39 years of age.

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Between 1996 and 2014 in Simcoe Muskoka, asthma prevalence rates decreased significantly among children under 10 years of age and increased significantly among older teens (15 to 19 years of age) and young adults (20 to 29 years of age).

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In 2014, asthma prevalence was highest among Ontario residents living in areas with the highest level of deprivation.

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Incidence

The rate of new asthma cases (also called the incidence rate) provides a measure of the risk of developing asthma over a given period of time. This is different from the asthma prevalence rates presented above, which provide a measure of how wide spread asthma is over a given period of time.

In 2014, the crude incidence rate of asthma in Simcoe Muskoka for all ages and both sexes was 3.25 per 1,000 population. This was lower than the Ontario asthma incidence rate of 4.28 per 1,000.

The asthma incidence rates, both in Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario as a whole, declined significantly between the 1996 and 2014, with an annual percentage decrease of approximately five per cent per year; however, rates in Simcoe Muskoka have remained relatively stable since 2008.

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In Simcoe Muskoka between 1996 and 2014, the crude asthma incident rates for both males and females demonstrated a similar downward trend as did the overall rates for Simcoe Muskoka. The female incidence rates were consistently higher than the male rates up until 2004; however, between 2004 and 2014 the male and female rates were not significantly different from each other.

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In 2014 in Simcoe Muskoka, asthma incidence was highest among young children, with 22 new asthma cases diagnosed per 1,000 children under the age of five. This drops to 7 cases per 1,000 among five to nine year-old children and 4 cases per 1,000 for 10 to 14 year-old children. After 14 years of age, the incidence rates range from 1 to 2 new cases per 1,000 for all age groups. The 2014 age-specific asthma incidence rates for Ontario as a whole were higher than the Simcoe Muskoka rates for children and youth under 20 years of age and adults 40 years of age and older.

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Between 1996 and 2014 in Simcoe Muskoka, asthma incidence rates decreased for all age groups. The largest decreases in incidence were observed between 2005 and 2008, particularly among young children under the age of five. This steep drop in asthma incidence between 2005 and 2008 corresponds with an improvement in air quality over the same time period as measured by the Air Quality Health Index at the Barrie monitoring station.

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In 2014, asthma incidence was highest among Ontario residents living in areas with the highest level of deprivation.

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