Maryland Asthma Control Program

Surveillance is the cornerstone of the Maryland Asthma Control Program. Data from surveillance reports enables the MACP to make efficient decisions in establishing priorities for the Maryland Asthma Plan.
Surveillance is based on existing data from the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Maryland Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS), Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC), Maryland Medicaid encounter and claims data, and the Maryland Vital Statistics Administration. For BRFSS, YTS, and YRBS data, asthma is identified by self-reports from respondents. For HSCRC data, asthma is identified by the use of International Classification of Disease, 9th Edition (ICD-9) codes. Asthma includes all codes from 493.0 to 493.9. For mortality data, asthma was identified through ICD-9 codes until 1999. ICD-10 codes of J45 to J46 are used for 1999-2009 mortality data. Rates are based on 2009 population statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics.
BRFSS Call-back Survey data combines years 2007-2009 and VSA mortality data combines years 2005-2009 to increase validity with a larger sample size.
Where possible, rates have been age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population in order to reliably compare populations with different age distributions.
Work-related asthma is identified as new-onset asthma caused by workplace exposure to allergens or irritants as well as work-aggravated asthma, in which existing asthma is worsened by workplace exposures.

Asthma in Maryland

In 2009 (most recent data available):

  • Statewide, approximately 13.9% of Maryland adults and 17.1% of children have a history of asthma.
  • An estimated 9.1% of adults and 11.9% of children currently have asthma.
  • There were approximately 11,500 hospitalizations and 40,000 emergency department visits in Maryland for asthma.
  • From 2005 to 2009, there was an average of 66.6 deaths per year due to asthma.
  • Many disparities exist in the morbidity and mortality of asthma. Persons at increased risk for asthma and its complications include the very young, the elderly, Black racial demographic, women, individuals with low-income and lower levels of education, and individuals in certain jurisdictions, particularly Baltimore City.
  • Charges for hospitalizations due to asthma totaled over $73 million. Charges for emergency department visits due to asthma totaled an additional $26 million.
  • Compared to those without asthma, adults with asthma perceive their general health less favorably.

Racial Health Disparities related to Asthma

People from certain racial and/or ethnic minority groups have greater asthma-related morbidity and mortality. Health disparities exist when disease and mortality affect some communities at a higher rate than others.
Black adults in Maryland had a 1 to 1 asthma prevalence ratio to White adults in 2009. However, Black adults had a 4.5 times higher rate of emergency department visits, a 3.1 times higher rate of hospitalization, and a 2.3 times higher rate of mortality compared to White adults.
Emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and mortality demonstrate a failure to properly manage asthma. These events are preventable.

The calculated disparity ratios indicate that the increased negative health outcomes and mortality among Black adults cannot be fully explained by higher prevalence. Higher asthma severity, poorer asthma control, and/or more limited access to health care may further explain these differences.

Reports and Data Fact Sheets

Asthma in Maryland Reports

Data Briefs

Jurisdiction Reports

*The year indicated in the title of this Maryland asthma burden report, 2011, corresponds to the year of publication. All years indicated in the title of previous burden reports correspond to the most current data found within the report.
Revised 10/2011