Asthma Risk Factors

Certain risk factors increase the chance that an individual will develop asthma. These risk factors include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Exposure to second hand smoke
  • Having a mother who smoked during pregnancy
  • Exposure to airborne pollution such as exhaust fumes
  • Black
  • Living in a low-income environment
  • Living in an urban environment
  • Having other allergies
  • Eczema
  • Hay fever
  • Parents or siblings with asthma
  • Occupational exposure to chemicals such as those used in hairdressing, manufacturing and farming

Other factors such as obesity and stress have been linked with higher rates of asthma.


  • Boys are more likely to get asthma than girls during childhood but this trend reverses during adulthood.
  • There are approximately 300 million asthma sufferers worldwide.
  • About 250,000 deaths are attributed to asthma each year with most of these deaths deemed to be avoidable.
  • Researchers predict that there will be 400,000 asthma sufferers worldwide by 2025.
  • More than 10% of asthma cases are a result of occupational exposure to fumes, gases or dust.
  • Asthma deaths are more likely to occur in low and lower-middle income countries with over 80% of deaths occurring in these countries.
  • Approximately 70% of asthmatics also have allergies.
  • Estimates suggest that approximately half of all asthma sufferers will have had an asthma attack in any given year.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.