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Table 2 Incidence and prevalence of asthma in patients of all ages by UK nation

From: The epidemiology, healthcare and societal burden and costs of asthma in the UK and its member nations: analyses of standalone and linked national databases

Epidemiologic measures England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK estimate (inverse variance, fixed effect meta-analysis)
n ASRi n ASRi n ASRi n ASR n ASR
N (95 % CI) N (95 % CI) N (95 % CI) N (95 % CI) N (95 % CI)
Incidence/1000 in 2011–12 Clinician-reported onset of asthma1,2,a,b,c    20,780 3.8 4779 3.7    240,483 3.8
   5,511,732 (3.7–3.9) 1,108,024 (3.6–3.9)    63,285,100 3.8–3.9
Clinician-reported mean weekly incident-spells of asthma3,a 77 0.1        5,696 0.1
722,885 (0.1–0.1)        63,285,100 0.1–0.1
Prevalence/100 patient-reported in 2010–11 and clinician-reported in 2011–12 Lifetime prevalence of patient-reported symptoms suggestive of asthma4,5,d 4335 31.3 794 24.6      18,514,040 29.5
14,112 (30.2–32.4) 3256 (22.9–26.4)      62,759,456 27.7–31.3
Annual prevalence of patient-reported symptoms suggestive of asthma4,5,e 2465 18.0 489 14.8      10,731,867 17.1
14,112 (17.1–18.8) 3256 (13.4–16.2)      62,759,456 15.7–18.5
Lifetime prevalence of patient-reported clinician-diagnosed asthma4,5,f 2280 16.1 443 14.0      9,790,475 15.6
14,112 (15.3–16.9) 3256 (12.6–15.3)      62,759,456 14.3–16.9
Annual prevalence of patient-reported clinician-diagnosed symptomatic asthma4,5,g 1235 8.6 229 7.0      5,083,516 8.1
14,112 (8.0–9.1) 3256 (6.1–7.9)      62,759,456 7.2–9.1
Annual prevalence of patient-reported clinician-diagnosed-and-treated asthma4,5,6,h 1320 9.3 322 9.8 1901 9.8    6,024,908 9.6
14,112 (8.6–9.9) 3255 (8.7–11.0) 19,225 (9.4–10.4)    62,759,456 8.9-10.3
Annual prevalence of clinician-reported-and-diagnosed asthma1,2,a,b,c    310,050 5.7 63,873 5.7    3,600,861 5.7
   5,511,732 (5.7–5.7) 1,119,368 (5.7–5.8)    63,285,145 5.7–5.7
Annual prevalence of clinician-reported-diagnosed-and-treated asthma7,ii Crude rate 3,295,944 5.9 319,091 6.0 218,243 6.9 113,518 6.0 4,303,390 6.8
55,525,732 (5.9–5.9) 5,299,097 (6.0–6.0) 3,185,538 (6.9–6.9) 1,898,678 (5.9–6.0) 63,285,145 6.8–6.8
  1. Source: 1Practice Team Information (PTI), Scotland; 2Secure Anonymised Information Linkage-GP, Wales; Health Survey for England 2010; 3Weekly Returns Service, England; 4Health Survey for England, 5Scottish Health Survey 2010; 6Welsh Health Survey, 2010; 7Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF)
  2. iAge standardised rate (ASR)
  3. iiSince age and sex are not available in QOF, crude rate is presented
  4. Blank cells had no data availability
  5. aBased on ISD’s Read Code Grouping ‘Asthma’
  6. bPTI estimates are based on 40, 43, 39 and 39 practices that submitted complete GP and practice-nurse data over a 6-year period ending 31 March 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. PTI data are broadly representative of the Scottish population
  7. cThe Welsh estimates apply to GP practice areas that participate in SAIL-GP. Population covered by these GP practices represent the Welsh population, thus these estimates are generalizable for Wales
  8. d,e,f,g,hPrevalence estimates were derived from questions in repeated population health surveys of the respective UK nations
  9. d“Have you ever had wheezing/whistling in the chest at any time, either now/in the past?” in England and Scotland
  10. e“Have you had wheezing or whistling in the chest in the last 12 months?” in England and Scotland
  11. fEngland – “Did a doctor or nurse ever tell you that you had asthma?”; Scotland – “Did a doctor ever tell you that you had asthma?”; Wales – there was no equivalent question asked in the survey from Wales
  12. gQuestions in e and f
  13. hQuestions in f AND “Over the last 12 months, have you used an inhaler/puffer/nebuliser prescribed by a doctor to treat your asthma/wheezing/whistling/difficulty in breathing?” for England, “Were you treated in the past 12 months for wheeze by GP/nurse at surgery/community/school/district nurse/hospital, consultant/specialist at hospital, consultant/specialist elsewhere, homeopath/acupuncturist/other alternative medicine professional?” for Scotland, and “Are you currently being treated for asthma?” for Wales