Asthma: key points

  • Asthma is a significant cause of impaired quality of life and hospital admissions in Scotland. Based on cases identified in primary care registers, an estimated 6.4% of the Scottish population had active asthma in Scotland in 2015/16.
  • An estimated 5.0% of the Scottish population, around 278,000 people, consulted a general practitioner or practice nurse for asthma at least once during 2012/13. There has been little change in this number since 2008/09. In all there were an estimated 468,000 consultations for asthma in Scotland in 2012/13.
  • The number of patients diagnosed with asthma is increasing, however the number of hospitalisations with asthma is on the decline. This may suggest that patients are receiving better advice and support.
  • Scotland, like the rest of the UK, has a high prevalence of asthma compared to the rest of the world. However data from the ISAAC surveys suggest that asthma in children became less common in Scotland between 1995 and 2002.
  • Asthma was the underlying cause of 122 deaths in Scotland in 2015, the highest number recorded since 2002.

Section updates:

  • The last major update of this section was completed in December 2016.
  • The next major update is due to be carried out by end December 2017.