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Department of Health and Human Services


Asthma is a serious life-long disease that is caused by swelling (inflammation) in the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs.1 Asthma affects many Michigan residents. In 2018, Michigan had 47,476 emergency department visits for asthma. About one in three of those visits were children less than 18 years old (MiTracking Data Portal).

Asthma data for emergency department visits and hospitalizations are available on the MiTracking data portal.

  • People who have asthma have airways that are very sensitive. The things that make symptoms start are called "triggers." Triggers make airways swell, tighten up, and make extra mucus. Triggers make it hard to breathe.1

    Learn more about asthma triggers, visit MDHHS - Asthma in Michigan.

  • Some common symptoms of asthma are1:

    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Tightness or heaviness in your chest
    • Wheezing

    If symptoms persist after taking asthma medication, and the person has trouble walking, talking in whole sentences or has a dusky, bluish color to lips and nail beds, get help right away.

    It's rare, but people do die from asthma, and these deaths can be prevented.

    Learn more about asthma symptoms, visit MDHHS - Asthma in Michigan.

  • Asthma cannot be cured, but symptoms can be prevented and controlled by staying away from triggers and using medications the right way.1

    For information on Asthma Control, visit MDHHS - Asthma in Michigan.

  • Many local TV and radio stations provide air quality forecasts to let you know when air pollutants like ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5) levels could be harmful to your health.

    • Sign up for EnviroFlash messages so you can find out when ozone and PM2.5 are at unhealthy levels. You can get these messages by email or text message. You can also receive daily air quality information.
  • Asthma MiTracking Indicators:

    • Emergency department visits
    • Hospitalizations due to asthma

    MiTracking Data Can Tell Us

    • The numbers and rates of asthma hospitalizations and ED visits in Michigan by year, age group, and gender.
    • If asthma hospitalization and ED rates are going up or down over time.
    • If part of the population is at higher risk of asthma.

    MiTracking Data Cannot Tell Us

    • What causes asthma, or what makes people get medical care for asthma.
    • The total number of people affected, cost, effect, result, or consequence of asthma.

    Find Out More

    The emergency department visits dataset was processed and created using data from the Michigan Outpatient Database (MODB) obtained with permission from the Michigan Health and Hospitalization Association (MHA) Service Corporation. The hospitalization dataset was created from the Michigan Inpatient Database (MIDB). MIDB is a database of all hospitalizations at acute care hospitals in Michigan.  

    For more data information, visit:


    1) MDHHS. Asthma in Michigan.,5885,7-339-71550_2955_48758---,00.html Accessed April 4, 2022.