Illustrative icons of weighing scales, medical equipment, location point, ambulance and pollution clouds

Health inequality and asthma

Asthma UK’s new report outlines how factors such as where you live, your age and your economic circumstance can affect your chances of developing asthma – and the care you receive.

Asthma can affect people of any age or background, but where you live, how much money you have and how old you are can disproportionately affect the care you receive. Asthma UK’s report On the Edge: How inequality affects people with asthma outlines the impact of health inequality on people with asthma, and outlines a possible solution to help reduce this unfair burden.

Key insights

  • Asthma is more prevalent within more deprived communities, and those living in more deprived areas of England are more likely to go to hospital for their asthma.
  • Those from disadvantaged socio-economic groups are more likely to be exposed to the causes and triggers of asthma, such as smoking and air pollution.
  • There is significant variation in access to basic asthma care across geography, age group and ethnicity.
  • Asthma requires self-management, which is harder to embed in groups with lower health literacy.
  • To reduce health inequality in asthma and enable people to better adhere to self-managed treatment, there must be preventative action on the causes of asthma and its triggers, improved access to basic care, and digital innovation to improve engagement in healthcare and health literacy.


Front cover of report On the edge: How inequality affects people with asthma

Read about the impact of health inequality on asthma

Download our report (pdf)

The data visualisation below indicates some of the variation across England in the rates of emergency admissions for asthma.