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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 61-66
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/1995/921501
Epidemiology

Asthma Mortality in Canada, 1946 to 1990

Robert S Hogg,1 Martin T Schechter,2 Julio SG Montaner,3 and James C Hogg4

1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Pulmonary Research Laboratory, St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
3Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Pulmonary Research Laboratory, St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
4Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia, Pulmonary Research Laboratory, St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of asthma on Canadian mortality rates over a 45-year period.

DESIGN: A descriptive, population-based study.

SETTING: Canada.

SUBJECTS: All persons who died from asthma in Canada from 1946 to 1990 as reported to Statistics Canada in Ottawa.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Standardized mortality ratios, age-specific patterns of death, potential years of life lost (PYLL) and life expectancy lost.

RESULTS: A total of 12,010 male and 8486 female asthma deaths were recorded in Canada from 1946 to 1990. Mortality rates for both sexes declined from a high of between three to six deaths in 1951 to 1955 to approximately two deaths per 100,000 in 1986 to 1990, with the decline in rates being greater for males than females. Age-specific mortality rates were highest al all ages in 1951 to 1955, except for 15 to 24 years when deaths rates for the 1981 to 1985 period were greater. PYLL exhibit the same pattern as mortality, peaking in 1951 to 1955 and subsequently declining with each period. Loss in life expectancy due to asthma was about one month (not significant) in all time periods.

CONCLUSIONS: Asthma mortality rates have declined significantly over the study period. This decline appears to be linked with the convergence of sex-specific rates and with changes in the patterning or age-specific mortality. The impact of asthma on the life expectancy of Canadians is small.