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In 2003 asthma was the leading cause of burden of disease in Australian children, contributing 17.4% of total DALYs and the eleventh-leading contributor to the overall burden of disease in Australia, accounting for 2.4% of the total number of DALYs. Asthma also contributed a substantial proportion to the Indigenous health gap in the burden of non-communicable conditions. It is predicted that asthma will continue to rank as one of the major causes of disease burden in Australia for the next 2 decades, particularly among females.
Asthma affects people of all ages and is associated with a substantial impact on both the individual and on the community. Most of the impact of asthma is on physical functioning and on the ability to perform social roles. This report provides information on the burden of asthma in Australia by summarising the asthma-related findings of two reports: The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003 and The burden of disease and injury in Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander peoples 2003.