Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Chronic Diseases

Asthma Prevalence and Incidence

Key Messages
Technical Notes

Key Messages

  • There were over 95,000 Simcoe Muskoka residents living with asthma in 2019, including nearly 1,500 individuals newly diagnosed with asthma. This means that one-in-six Simcoe Muskoka residents were living with asthma and that for every 1,000 Simcoe Muskoka residents, three were newly diagnosed with asthma.
  • Asthma prevalence rates significantly increased from 2009 to 2019. Asthma incidence rates have been decreasing since 2013.
  • Asthma prevalence is highest among males between the age of 15 and 24. Asthma incidence is highest among children under the age of 15 for both males and females.
  • Asthma prevalence rates are highest among those living in areas with the most material deprivation and lowest among those living in areas with the least deprivation; however, incidence rates do not appear to be associated with material deprivation.


According to the IC/ES Ontario Asthma Cohort, in 2019, approximately 95,000 (or one-in-six) Simcoe Muskoka residents were living with asthma. The age-standardized adult asthma prevalence rates in Simcoe Muskoka have been consistently higher than the provincial rates since 2009. The asthma prevalence rates have increased significantly, both locally and provincially, from 2009 to 2019.

Asthma Prevalence TREND

Youth and young adults are the ones most commonly living with asthma. In 2019, asthma prevalence in Simcoe Muskoka was highest among males between the age of 15 and 24 (26 cases per 100).

Asthma Prevalence by Age BAR

In 2019, Simcoe Muskoka residents living in areas with the highest amount of material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalization Index) had the highest asthma prevalence rate and those living in areas with the least amount of material deprivation had the lowest rate.

Asthma Prevalence by Deprivation BAR


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 2019, there were nearly 1,500 new cases of asthma diagnosed among Simcoe Muskoka residents which equates to an age-standardized incidence rate of 2.6 (2.5, 2.8) new cases per 1,000. The annual asthma incidence rates in Simcoe Muskoka decreased significantly from 2013 to 2019. The Simcoe Muskoka incidence rates have been consistently lower than the provincial incidence rates.

Asthma Incidence TREND

In 2019, adult asthma incidence in Simcoe Muskoka was highest among children under 15 years of age (8 per 1,000 among males and 7 per 1,000 among females). Asthma incidence is higher among males when compared to females for children under 15 years; however, incidence is higher among females for those between the ages of 15 and 64 years.

Asthma Incidence by Age BAR

There does not appear to be an associated between asthma incidence and material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalization Index) based on the 2019 incidence rates for Simcoe Muskoka residents.

Asthma Incidence by Deprivation BAR

Technical Notes

Information presented on this page is from the report by Refik Saskin and Luis Palma titled Chronic disease trends in Simcoe Muskoka. The report was completed in February of 2023 as part of the response to an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Applied Health Research Question (AHRQ) submitted to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU). The data source citation for counts, rates and other figures extracted from the report is: ICES AHRQ Project 2023 0950 141 000.

This AHQR study was supported by ICES, which is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. The opinions, results and conclusions are those of the authors and are independent from the funding and data sources.  No endorsement by ICES, the Ontario Ministry of Health, or CIHI is intended or should be inferred. The contents and interpretation of this web page are solely the responsibility of SMDHU.

Page last updated February 15, 2023