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Health Indicator Report of Asthma Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with an effective medical management plan and avoidance of environmental or occupational triggers.


This is Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020) Objective AS-3c. Data from 2016 and later are not comparable to pre-2016 data due to a change in diagnosis coding from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM.

Data Sources

  • Population Estimates, [ State Data Center], New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Uniform Billing Patient Summary, Division of Health Care Quality and Assessment, New Jersey Department of Health, []

Data Interpretation Issues

The nationwide switch from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM hospital diagnosis coding on October 1, 2015 disrupted trends for some diseases and conditions. Asthma is one of those. Please interpret trend data in this report with caution. Also note that New Jersey's data for October through December, 2015 was recoded to ICD-9-CM so that entire year of data was coded the same way.


Hospitalizations or emergency department (ED) visits with a primary diagnosis of asthma. *ICD-9-CM code: 493 (2000 through 2015) *ICD-10-CM code: J45 (2016 and onward)


Number of hospitalizations or ED visits due to asthma occurring among residents of a geographic area in a time period.


For rates, estimated population of a geographic area in a time period using mid-year population estimates.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce hospitalizations for asthma

U.S. Target: a. children under 5 years of age: 18.2, b. persons aged 5 to 64 years: 8.7 (age-adjusted), c. persons aged 65 years and older: 20.1 (age-adjusted)

Other Objectives

'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective AS-2''': Reduce the crude hospitalization rate due to asthma per 100,000 age-specific population: [[br]] a. children aged under 5 years: 193 for all races/ethnicities, 128 among Whites, 473 among Blacks, 194 among Hispanics, and 75 among Asians.[[br]] b. persons aged 5 to 64 years: 61 for all races/ethnicities, 39 among Whites, 172 among Blacks, 69 among Hispanics, and 11 among Asians.[[br]] c. persons aged 65 years and older: 50 for all races/ethnicities, 53 among Whites, 135 among Blacks, 147 among Hispanics, and 47 among Asians. '''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective AS-3''': Reduce the crude rate of emergency department (ED) visits due to asthma per 100,000 age-specific population: [[br]] a. children aged under 5 years: 998 for all races/ethnicities, 559 among Whites, 2,612 among Blacks, 1,049 among Hispanics, and 234 among Asians.[[br]] b. persons aged 5 to 64 years: 501 for all races/ethnicities, 291 among Whites, 1,215 among Blacks, 551 among Hispanics, and 72 among Asians.[[br]] c. persons aged 65 years and older: 128 for all races/ethnicities, 77 among Whites, 321 among Blacks, 312 among Hispanics, and 59 among Asians.[[br]]

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, over 600,000 adults (9.0%) and 167,000 children (8.7%) are estimated to have asthma currently. The number of women with asthma is almost double the number of men with asthma; however, asthma occurs more frequently in boys than girls. Anyone can develop asthma; however, children, Black, Hispanic, and urban residents are most likely to be affected. Individuals with allergies and people with a family history of asthma are also most likely to suffer from this disease. Hospitalization rates for asthma do not represent the total burden of the illness. Most asthma attacks are successfully managed without hospitalization. Many people with asthma prevent serious asthma attacks through avoidance of triggers and effective medical management. In addition, many people with asthma episodes are treated in emergency departments and are not included in hospitalization statistics. Hospitalization rates measure an infrequent, severe outcome of this disease. Asthma inpatient hospitalization and emergency department (ED) visit rates vary widely among New Jersey counties. Rates for emergency visits are highest in Essex, Camden, and Mercer Counties, and lowest in Somerset, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Disparities in inpatient hospitalization and emergency department visit rates likely reflect differences in: access to effective medical management; co-existing chronic diseases; and environmental or occupational asthma triggers. The Healthy New Jersey 2020 targets for hospitalizations and ED visits were revised due to the change in medical record coding to ICD-10-CM.

What Is Being Done?

The NJ Department of Health's [ Asthma Awareness and Education Program] (AAEP) provides information on asthma for consumers and health professionals. The NJ Department of Health's Occupational Health Service has a [ Work-Related Asthma Program] that provides information to workers and employers about prevention of asthma in the workplace. State law (Statute Amendment 18A:40-12.3) requires school districts to allow students to carry and administer their own asthma medication. The law further requires both public and non-public schools to provide and maintain at least one nebulizer for students with asthma.

Available Services

Asthma resources for those who cannot afford medication or treatment: []
Page Content Updated On 04/30/2021, Published on 04/30/2021
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 Sat, 27 November 2021 19:32:01 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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