Asthma Prevalence

This indicator reports the percentage of adults aged 18 and older who self-report that they have ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they had asthma. This indicator is relevant because asthma is a prevalent problem in the U.S. that is often exacerbated by poor environmental conditions.
Report Area Survey Population
(Adults Age 18+)
Total Adults with Asthma Percent Adults with Asthma
Franklin County, PA 124,321 18,389 14.8%
Pennsylvania 9,780,692 1,293,643 13.2%
United States 237,197,465 31,697,608 13.34%
Note: This indicator is compared with the state average. Green - Better than state average, Red - Worse than state average.
Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Additional data analysis by CARES. 2011-12. Source geography: County

Adults Ever Diagnosed with Asthma by Race / Ethnicity, Percent
Report Area Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic Other Race Hispanic or Latino
Pennsylvania 12.25% 17.92% 10.08% 19.82%
United States 13.19% 15.75% 11.9% 12.02%
Website Updated December 11 2017 Site Reviewed January 05 2018

Asthma Prevalence

Data Background

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is “... a collaborative project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. states and territories. The BRFSS, administered and supported by CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Branch, is an ongoing data collection program designed to measure behavioral risk factors for the adult population (18 years of age or older) living in households. ”
Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services. Overview: BRFSS 2010.
The health characteristics estimated from the BRFSS include data pertaining to health behaviors, chronic conditions, access and utilization of healthcare, and general health. Surveys are administered to populations at the state level and then delivered to the CDC. BRFSS annual survey data are publically available and maintained on the CDC's BRFSS Annual Survey Data web page.

For more information on the BRFSS survey methods, or to obtain a copy of the survey questionnaires, please visit the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System home page.


Indicator percentages are acquired from analysis of annual survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for years 2011-2012. Percentages are generated based on valid responses to the following questions: "Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or health professional that you have Asthma?"
This indicator represents the percentage of those persons who answered “yes”. Data only pertain to the non-institutionalized population aged 18 and up and are weighted to reflect the total county population using the methods described in the BRFSS Comparability of Data documentation.

Additional detailed information about the BRFSS, including questionnaires, data collection procedures, and data processing methodologies are available on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System home page.


Data Suppression
Suppression is used to avoid misinterpretation when rates are unstable. Data is suppressed when the total number of persons sampled (for each geographic area / population group combination) over the survey period is less than 20. Data are unreliable when the total number of persons sampled over the survey period is less than 50. Confidence intervals are available when exploring the data through the map viewer.

Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity (Hispanic origin) are collected as two separate categories in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) interview surveys based on methods established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997. Before the raw survey data files are released, self-identified race and ethnicity variables are recoded by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) analysts into the following categories: White, Non-Hispanic; Black, Non-Hispanic; Multiple Race, Non-Hispanic; Other Race, Non-Hispanic; and Hispanic or Latino. Due to sample size constraints, race and ethnicity statistics are only reported at the state and national levels.

Courtesy: Community Commons, <>, November 2017