The study also showcases a significant decline in asthma mortality rates in China, which were previously higher than the United States from 1990 to 2019.
Recent study results published in Chinese Medical Journal demonstrate significant differences in asthma mortality between China and the United States. Previously, China had higher mortality rates from 1990 to 2019; however, this gap has gradually narrowed over time, with the US’s asthma mortality rates (approximately 11%) now surpassing China.
To evaluate these rates, investigators performed a detailed comparative analysis of asthma mortality in the US and China. The investigators data from 1990 to 2019 from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Study to examine the impact of various disease and their associated risk factors. In addition, the researchers used an age-period-cohort model to analyze the incidence and mortality trends of chronic diseases as well as the effects of age and the time period.
The results showed substantial differences between the United States and China’s asthma mortality rates, with the prevalence in the United States being nearly 4 times greater than China in 2019. In addition, men in China were shown to have a higher mortality rate compared to women; however, the United States showed higher mortality rates in women.
“The risk factors for asthma mortality in China and the US were investigated to provide public health recommendations for reducing mortality,” said study lead Xiansheng Liu, PhD, professor, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and NHC Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases in Wuhan, China, in a press release. “Compared with China, high body-mass index (BMI) is a larger public health challenge in the US, where it ranked first in the risk factors of asthma-related death.”
The researchers had also determined that smoking, a high BMI, and occupational exposure to asthmagens—particles that trigger or induce asthma—were factors that were strongly related to asthma mortality in the United States. Smoking was the leading risk factor in China, particularly in men.
Further analyses showed differences in rates when individuals were grouped by age. Asthma mortality rates slowly increased with age in the United States, with individuals experiencing an exponential risk of mortality after the age of 80 years; however, in China, infants, young children, and the elderly were at an increased risk of mortality.
“This study on asthma mortality can help focus on at-risk populations who might benefit the most from targeted interventions, such as tobacco control, obesity prevention, and treatment, available medical services for the aging population, and practical and pragmatic guidance in the assessment and management of occupational asthma by clinicians and so on,” Liu said in the press release.
Although asthma mortality rates were previously higher in China than in the United States, a considerable decline in the past few years showcase the influence of China’s improvements in the management of asthma risk factors at both individual and societal levels. These findings can leverage further reductions in asthma mortality in both the United States and China.
Cactus Communications. Chinese Medical Journal article reveals key insights on the trends of asthma mortality. News release. November 22, 2023. Accessed November 30, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1008893