Incidence Among Canadians

Asthma affects about 3.8 million people, including 850,000 children under the age of 14. Six out of ten people with asthma do not have control of their disease. Their poorly controlled asthma may lead to a severe, life-threatening asthma attack and permanent lung damage. Asthma symptoms do not have to be tolerated. Total asthma control is attainable for the majority of Canadians with asthma.

Asthma is not contagious. While its causes are still unknown, researchers have determined that asthma can be caused by both hereditary (inherited) and environmental factors.

Just because you have a parent with asthma (or an allergy) doesn’t mean you’ll have it too. But you might inherit the tendency to develop asthma. In other words, if one or both of your parents has asthma or allergies, it’s more likely you will too. Exactly why, researchers aren’t sure.

Whether or not you have a family tendency to develop asthma, you might have developed asthma by being exposed to one or more of your personal “triggers“. Occasionally, people who hold certain types of jobs will come in contact with triggers in the workplace that cause asthma episodes. Doctors call this kind of asthma “occupational asthma“.

While doctors can’t always determine why someone gets asthma, they can recommend the best way to treat it. You can make sure your asthma is consistently well-controlled: