Minnesota Asthma Program

Asthma Program

Quick facts – Asthma in Minnesota

How common is asthma in Minnesota?

  • One in 14 children (7.1%) and one in 13 adults (7.5%) currently have asthma, adding up to around 408,000 Minnesotans who have asthma.1
  • An estimated one in 10 middle and high school students (grades 6-12) (10.6%) in Minnesota currently have asthma.2
  • In 2014, there were 21,800 emergency department visits and 3,400 hospitalizations for asthma across Minnesota.3
  • In 2015, there were 61 deaths due to asthma in Minnesota.
    • 59% of those who died were age 65 or older when they died.
    • There were 6 deaths among residents under age 35.4

Are there disparities in asthma rates in Minnesota?

The likelihood of having asthma differs by race/ethnicity.

  • American Indian and African American middle/high school students are more likely than other students to have been diagnosed with asthma.5
  • Among adults, African Americans are more likely than whites to have asthma.1

There are significant differences in the rates of hospitalizations and emergency department visits for asthma by region of the state.

  • Asthma hospitalization rates for children living in the Twin Cities metropolitan area are 67% higher than for children living in Greater Minnesota.
  • Rates of ED visits for asthma for children living in the Twin Cities metro area are nearly twice as high as for children living in Greater Minnesota.
  • In certain ZIP codes in the city of Minneapolis, hospitalization rates for asthma among children are 4 times higher than the statewide rate.3

There are also disparities in rates of deaths due to asthma in Minnesota.

  • Asthma death rates are 4 times higher among African Americans and 3 times higher among Asian/Pacific Islanders than among whites.
  • Among those who were under age 65 when they died, the asthma death rate for African Americans was 6 times higher than it was for whites.6

What is the economic cost of asthma?

  • In 2014, asthma cost an estimated $669.3 million, including $614.9 million in direct medical expenses and $54.3 million in lost work days.7

Additional resources


Asthma in Minnesota Fact Sheet (PDF) Updated November 2017

Asthma in Minnesota Middle and High School Students (PDF) (November 2017) Data in this fact sheet come from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey that was conducted among more than 160,000 students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11 from schools across the state.

MN Public Health Data Access Portal – Asthma in Minnesota


American Lung Association:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)

1 Minnesota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016
2 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey, 2014
3 MN Hospital Uniform Billing (UB) Claims Data, Health Economics Program, MDH and Minnesota Hospital Association, 2015
4 Minnesota Center for Health Statistics, 2015
5 Minnesota Student Survey, 2016
6 Age-adjusted rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, Compressed Mortality File on CDC WONDER Online Database, http://wonder.cdc.gov/, 2006-2015
7 National Asthma Control Program, CDC

Updated Monday, August 13, 2018 at 11:47AM