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Health Indicator Report of Asthma Prevalence in Adults

Asthma is a serious personal and public health issue that has far reaching medical, economic, and psychosocial implications. People with asthma are more likely to miss school or work, report feelings of depression, and experience an overall reduced quality of life. Asthma is also costly, with expenses from routine checkups, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and medications putting a significant burden on families, the health care sector, and the economy. Though it cannot be cured, asthma can be controlled through quality health care, appropriate medications, and good self-management skills. When asthma is controlled, people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms, and can live normal and productive lives.


All prevalence estimates are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population (except for rates by age group).   **No data available in 2019.

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health, []
  • U.S Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), []

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Jersey adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters such as military barracks and business owners. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area.


Adults aged 18 and over, who reported having been told by a doctor that they have asthma and who currently have asthma.


Total number of respondents answering "yes" to both of the BRFSS asthma core questions: 1. Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that you had asthma? 2. Do you still have asthma?


Includes all survey respondents ages 18 years and older except those with missing, don't know, or refused answers to the core asthma questions

How Are We Doing?

In 2020, the adult asthma prevalence in New Jersey was 8.7%. Blacks (12.2%) have higher prevalence of asthma compared to Whites (8.9%) and Asians (3.2%) in the state. Adult asthma prevalence is higher for women than men in every age category.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2020, the New Jersey current adult asthma prevalence rate (8.4%) was slightly lower than the U.S. rate (9.2%).

What Is Being Done?

New Jersey is conducting outreach to provide asthma self-management education to reduce asthma related visits to the emergency departments for both adults and children with asthma. The NJ In-Home Asthma Program will be implemented to 1) improve asthma control; 2) improve use of routine Primary Care Provider (PCP) visits for asthma management; 3) reduce ED or Urgent Care use for uncontrolled asthma; 4) provide education and resources for reducing asthma triggers in the home; and 5) provide PCPs with updates regarding participant status and summary of asthma visit program outcomes. [] []

Evidence-based Practices

The home-based intervention is for both pediatric and adult patients with poorly controlled asthma. It is based on a staffing model that employs Community Health Workers (CHWs), with supervision by a Clinical Supervisor. It is a modified version of the NJ In-Home Asthma Pilot Project, funded by The Nicholson Foundation. The intervention is based on [ Krieger's pediatric asthma care model], and is one of the interventions used by the [ New England Asthma Innovations Collaborative (NEAIC)], funded by the [ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services]. The NJ In-Home Asthma Program includes both children and adults and will add to the literature base.

Available Services

The state offers several programs for asthma sufferers who cannot afford medication or treatment in addition to the evidence-based intervention. '''Medicaid''' Residents of New Jersey who are U.S. citizens or [ qualified aliens] and meet financial eligibility standards may receive coverage of many of their health care expenses through [ Medicaid]. Medicaid in New Jersey is [ administered by the Department of Human Services]. Residents who do not qualify for Medicaid may be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance coverage [ through NJ Familycare]. Call 800-356-1561 for more information. '''Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled''' New Jersey provides state-funded prescription medication assistance to nearly 143,000 residents through the [ Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD)] program. To be eligible for PAAD, one must be: *A New Jersey resident *65 years of age or older (or 18 years of age or older and receiving Social Security Title II Disability benefits) *Have an annual income for 2017 of less than $26,655 (single) or less than $32,680 (married) '''A Partnership for Prescription Assistance''' *The Partnership for Prescription Assistance connects qualified, low-income people with discount prescription drugs, direct from the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Health Program Information

'''Community Health and Wellness Unit''' Housed within the Division of Community Health Services, the mission of the Unit is to prevent premature death and disability from chronic disease, to understand risk factors of chronic disease, and to promote healthy behaviors. The mission of the Childhood and Adult Asthma Program (CAAP) is to reduce the number of asthma related emergency department visits, increase awareness about disparities in asthma, and improve access to care to improve asthma management.
Page Content Updated On 05/13/2019, Published on 03/01/2023
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 16 April 2024 15:30:47 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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