Health
Prevalence of Children with Asthma


Prevalence of Children with Asthma

What does this measure?

This measures the prevalence of asthma among children in grades K-8, as reported by schools to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Why is this important?

Asthma is a serious condition that inflames the lungs and airways, making it difficult for a child to breathe. It can be triggered by physical activity or environmental factors. Asthma causes physical and social challenges that result in a lowered potential for learning, fatigue, or an overall feeling of frustration. Children with asthma have lower attendance rates at school and visit the emergency room more frequently. Asthma is more common among certain populations, including low-income children and racial minorities, with lack of access to health care and substandard housing conditions thought to play a role.

How is our county doing?

In Essex County, 11% of children in grades K-8 had asthma in 2017, about the same as the state rate. Among local areas, the cities of Lawrence (17%) and Haverhill (16%, and Town of Saugus (13%) had the highest rates while the cities of Amesbury and Peabody, and towns of Essex, Hamilton, and Swampscott (all at 6%) had the lowest.

Since 2010, the rate of asthma among school children in Essex and the state was flat. Rates increased in the towns of Groveland and Rowley (up 6 percentage points to 11%).

How do we compare to similar counties?

Essex's rate was similar to that in Middlesex, which rose slightly from 10% in 2010 to 11% in 2017. Comparable data was not available for Lake, IL and Westchester, NY.

Notes about the data

School nurses gather this information annually from students' school health record, physician reports, and parent information forms. A variety of factors can impact asthma rates, including socioeconomic factors. Therefore, when comparing rates across geographic areas, information such as access to medical care must also be considered. The figures are not age-adjusted, so some of the differences may be due to differences in the age distribution of students in each community.

Prevalence of Children with Asthma
20102011201220132014201520162017
Essex County, MA11%11%11%11%12%11%11%11%
Amesbury8%10%8%9%8%7%6%6%
Beverly10%9%10%12%10%12%10%10%
Gloucester10%11%11%11%9%11%11%10%
Haverhill14%12%12%14%13%13%13%16%
Lawrence19%19%19%19%18%17%18%17%
Lynn11%12%13%13%14%13%13%12%
Methuen8%8%9%8%8%9%8%8%
Newburyport8%7%10%9%11%6%10%10%
Peabody8%7%9%10%8%7%7%6%
Salem11%12%11%9%11%12%12%12%
Andover12%10%11%10%10%11%10%11%
Boxford9%10%12%6%10%9%8%7%
Danvers12%12%8%11%12%8%10%10%
Essex6%7%6%6%6%5%8%6%
Georgetown6%6%7%5%7%7%7%8%
Groveland5%9%9%8%7%10%10%11%
Hamilton9%8%8%8%9%6%6%6%
Ipswich6%7%7%7%8%7%7%9%
Lynnfield7%7%9%9%10%11%10%11%
Manchester12%11%13%7%10%9%8%9%
Marblehead6%5%5%6%7%6%7%7%
Merrimac7%10%7%8%10%9%8%8%
Middleton10%11%12%9%11%10%10%11%
Nahant12%12%10%11%10%7%5%9%
Newbury5%5%7%7%7%7%6%8%
North Andover11%11%11%11%12%11%11%9%
Rockport12%9%14%14%14%11%11%12%
Rowley5%9%10%9%9%10%9%11%
Salisbury6%5%5%5%6%4%6%7%
Saugus11%12%13%12%12%12%13%13%
Swampscott9%10%12%8%10%9%8%6%
Topsfield11%10%9%8%10%8%8%7%
Wenham8%8%7%6%8%8%4%7%
West Newbury7%7%7%7%11%8%6%7%
Middlesex County, MA10%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%
Massachusetts12%12%12%12%12%12%12%12%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health




Number of of Children with Asthma
20102011201220132014201520162017
Essex County, MA9,2049,2709,6719,7559,8049,4419,4579,252
Amesbury143176149154137114106102
Beverly365325364427365404368372
Gloucester253291272264203243238209
Haverhill940819842936901873928992
Lawrence1,9771,9942,0452,1082,0641,9792,0911,950
Lynn1,1281,2771,4131,4631,5801,5851,5221,501
Methuen435447471458466489454407
Newburyport143125190184206126177182
Peabody401350436462379330322282
Salem386417413338388411444428
Andover536445487538466519470508
Boxford10612113570109958671
Danvers330325222282309201270247
Essex2129232324203426
Georgetown6572785774736474
Groveland4572776652737071
Hamilton9683808080605358
Ipswich861011061071099888110
Lynnfield110121144149158177162178
Manchester7773835375665761
Marblehead151144139170179147180189
Merrimac6279545866594746
Middleton1111181199611410396101
Nahant3737282925171120
Newbury3940534948473345
North Andover411422401400458411390337
Rockport6849797976606063
Rowley3462686157645764
Salisbury4538363838284248
Saugus269286320291273279305287
Swampscott15016219113315114411894
Topsfield9684746577636362
Wenham4540363039422334
West Newbury4346433758412833
Middlesex County, MA16,16716,49516,67716,97217,47517,18317,43317,213
Massachusetts80,44080,94882,54883,56885,36483,85484,23082,279

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health




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