Description: Number of hospital admissions where asthma was the principal diagnosis, per 100,000 population (age-standardised).
Asthma is one of the most common reasons for admission to hospital in childhood. Hospitalisation for asthma occurs as a consequence of disease exacerbations (either due to the severity of the disease or effectiveness of treatment and management).
The interactive visualisations on this page show data for asthma hospitalisations by:
- age and sex
- socioeconomic area
- Primary Health Network (PHN) areas
Data from the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) show that in 2016–17:
- Rates of hospitalisations were higher in children aged 0–14 (425 per 100,000 population) and lowest in people aged 15–34 (94 per 100,000 population).
- The hospitalisation rate was higher for females (186 per 100,000 population) than males (157 per 100,000 population).
- The hospitalisation rate was higher in Remote areas compared with Major cities (222 compared with 185 per 100,000 population, respectively).
- The hospitalisation rate was higher in the lowest socioeconomic areas (234 per 100,000 population) compared with the highest socioeconomic areas (122 per 100,000 population).
- The 3 PHN areas with highest rates (age-standardised) of potentially preventable hospitalisations were: Murrumbidgee (240 per 100,000 population), Western Queensland (214 per 100,000 population), and Darling Downs and West Moreton (197 per 100,000 population). The 3 PHN areas with the lowest potentially preventable hospitalisation rates were: Gippsland, Perth North, and Perth South (88, 82, and 79 per 100,000 population, respectively).
Note: Potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPH) for asthma defined in accordance with the National Healthcare Agreement (NHA) indicator (PI 18 - Selected potentially preventable hospitalisations, 2018)
Potentially preventable hospitalisations for asthma variation by PHN areas
Differences in rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations for asthma across PHNs may be due to differences in:
- the distribution of populations with high rates of asthma
- severity of asthma and improper use of medicine
- access to primary and secondary care for timely management of acute exacerbations; availability of hospital beds and hospital admission criteria
- geographical location (for example cold weather extremes, airborne allergens), can trigger asthma attacks despite best-practice medicine use.