Asthma can usually be controlled with effective clinical care, appropriate medications, and by following a written asthma action plan. Asthma can, however, be fatal.
The National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) was formed in about 1989, partly in response to the high number of asthma-related deaths at that time. As a result of a wide range of initiatives led by the NAC and in collaboration with many other asthma stakeholders, asthma-related deaths have since fallen dramatically.
Asthma-related deaths in Australia have now dropped from a peak of 964 in 1989 to less than half that number today. Yet every asthma death is a tragedy, and people of all ages must continue to take asthma seriously.
In 2017, asthma caused the deaths of 441 Australians.
To read about what this means for the asthma community, go to our media release: New asthma death toll shows baby boomer women are more at risk.
For a detailed breakdown of the 2017 statistics, please download the ABS Customised Report 2017.
For data across the previous decade, please view the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report: 3303.0 Causes of Death Australia, 2017
Note: Asthma-related deaths are shown under the codes Asthma & Status Asthmaticus (J45 & J46).
In 2016, asthma caused the deaths of 455 Australians. For a detailed breakdown of the 2015 statistics, please download the ABS Customised Report 2016.
Due to changes in ABS reporting, comparative analysis of these figures with earlier data is no longer possible. A report for 1960 to 2008 can be downloaded here: Asthma deaths 1960-2008 update
Detailed asthma statistics and analysis are available from:
ACAM aims to assist in reducing the burden of asthma in Australia by developing, collating and interpreting data relevant to asthma prevention, management and health policy.
AIHW is Australia's national agency for health and welfare statistics and information.