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Health Indicator Report of Asthma Prevalence among Children

Asthma is one of the common chronic diseases in New Mexico, with an estimated 45,503 children currently having the disease. People with asthma are more likely to miss school or work, report feelings of depression, and experience an overall reduced quality of life. Asthma is also costly, with expenses from routine checkups, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and medications putting a significant burden on families, the health care sector, and the economy. Though it cannot be cured, asthma can be controlled through quality health care, appropriate medications, and good self-management skills. When asthma is controlled, people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms, and can live normal and productive lives. Asthma is frequently diagnosed in childhood. Sometimes asthma symptoms may go dormant for a number of years only to return later in adulthood. Given this complexity, two prevalence measures are helpful in assessing the disease burden: Lifetime prevalence (if an individual has ever been diagnosed as having asthma) and Current prevalence (if the individual reports he or she still has asthma).
Question Wording: Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that your child has asthma? Do the child still have asthma?


New Mexico data is missing for 2006 because New Mexico did not collect childhood prevalence data that year. Estimates for 2011 and forward should not be compared to earlier years (please refer to Data Interpretation Issues, below).

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data, [].

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the BRFSS Method Change Factsheet. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


The estimated proportion of New Mexico children 17 years of age or younger with diagnosed asthma.


LIFETIME PREVALENCE: Estimated number of New Mexico children whose parent responded, "yes" (within the survey year) to the BRFSS question: "Have you ever been told by a doctor that your child has asthma?". CURRENT PREVALENCE: Estimated number of New Mexico children whose parent responded, "yes" (within the survey year) to the BRFSS question: "Does your child still have asthma?"


Number of New Mexico children whose parent responded to the BRFSS within the survey year.
Page Content Updated On 02/15/2019, Published on 02/19/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Thu, 05 August 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Feb 2019 09:42:45 MST