Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Chronic Diseases

Asthma Prevalence and Incidence

Prevalence
Incidence

Prevalence

According to the Ontario Asthma Surveillance Information System (OASIS), in 2018, nearly 97,000 Simcoe Muskoka residents were living with asthma. The 2018 crude asthma prevalence rate in Simcoe Muskoka of 16.7 per 100 was higher than the provincial prevalence rate of 15.8 per 100.

There was a significant increasing trend in asthma prevalence in both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario as a whole from 1996 to 2018, with an average annual increase of approximately two per cent per year; however, growth in asthma prevalence has slowed since the mid-2000’s.The Simcoe Muskoka rates have been above the provincial rates since 2011, with the gap between the rates widening over time.

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In Simcoe Muskoka between 1996 and 2018, 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 time.

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In 2018 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 more than double the rates for young children less than five years of age. 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 49 years of age.

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Asthma prevalence among Simcoe Muskoka children under five years of age decreased significantly from 1996 to 2018. Asthma prevalence rates among Simcoe Muskoka children between five and nine years of age increased significantly from 1996 to 2005 before declining significantly from 2005 to 2014 back to the levels observed in 1996. The prevalence rates for children between five and nine years have remained constant since 2014. Asthma prevalence among children between 10 and 14 years of age increased significantly from 1996 to 2007 before declining significantly from 2007 to 2018. A similar patter was observed for teens between 15 and 19 years of age with a significantly increase in the prevalence rates from 1996 to 2010 before declining significantly from 2010 to 2018. Asthma prevalence rates for young adults (20 to 29 years) have increased significantly from 1996 to 2018.   

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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 widespread asthma is over a given period of time.

In 2018, the crude incidence rate of asthma in Simcoe Muskoka for all ages was 2.8 per 1,000 population. This was lower than the Ontario asthma incidence rate of 3.6 per 1,000.

The asthma incidence rates, both in Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario as a whole, declined significantly between the 1996 and 2018, with an annual percentage decrease of approximately four per cent per year. The provincial asthma incidence rate has been significantly higher than the Simcoe Muskoka rate over this entire time.

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In Simcoe Muskoka between 1996 and 2018, 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 2008 and 2018 the male and female rates were not significantly different from each other.

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In 2018 in Simcoe Muskoka, asthma incidence was highest among young children, with 19 new asthma cases diagnosed per 1,000 children under the age of five. This drops to 6 cases per 1,000 among children between the ages of five and nine and 3 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 2018 age-specific asthma incidence rates for Ontario were higher than the Simcoe Muskoka rates for all age groups.

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Between 1996 and 2008 in Simcoe Muskoka, asthma incidence rates decreased for all age groups; however, since 2008 the asthma incidence rates have not changed significantly for any age group under 30 years of age. 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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Page last updated June 10, 2022