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Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. Common symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Asthma is both treated and prevented by prescribed inhalers. Treatment is to be taken if a person's symptoms are triggered as well as a form of prevention.

Asthma is also the most common long term condition in children and young people and the most common reason for urgent admissions to hospital in children and young people in England.

Facts and Figure

Prevalence of Asthma

For further information regarding the source of QOF prevalence data and its limitations please see Note on QOF Data.

In 2019/20, 13,652 people had been identified by NHS Blackpool CCG GP practices as living with asthma.1

NHS Blackpool CCG is shown as a purple marker in Figure 1, with all other CCGs shown in blue. Figure 1 shows that 7.8% of NHS Blackpool CCG's registered population, are recorded as living with asthma, and increase of 1% since 2017/18. The indicator is located outside the 3rd standard deviation meaning that Blackpool has a significantly higher prevalence of asthma than the average of English CCGs (6.5%). Blackpool's asthma prevalence is the fourth highest in England.

Figure 1 - Asthma Prevalence Funnel Plot Analysis at CCG Level (2019/20 QOF)

Source: Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF)

Figure 2 shows all the GP practices that make up NHS Blackpool CCG. There is a considerable range in recorded prevalence of asthma at GP practices from 6.5% to 9.6%.

Figure 2 - Asthma Prevalence Funnel Plot Analysis at GP Level (2019/20 QOF)

Source: Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF)

The GP practice highlighted in dark purple has a significantly higher prevalence of asthma.


The GP practice highlighted in dark pink has a significantly lower prevalence of asthma.


In the period April 2018 to March 2019 there were 175 emergency admissions due to asthma of adult (19+) NHS Blackpool CCG registered patients. This is 1.33 emergency admissions per 1,000 registered population, rising from 1.08 in 2017/18, and is significantly higher than the rate for England of 1.01 emergency admissions per 1,000 population.

In 2019/20, 90 people under the age of 19 were admitted to hospital for asthma, a rate of 2.58 per 1,000 registered population compared to the England average of 1.58. Blackpool's rate has been falling since its peak of 4.06 in 2016/17.2  

National and local strategies

Risk Factors

Although the cause of asthma is unknown, a number of things that can increase your chances of developing the condition have been identified. These include:

    • a family history of asthma or other related allergic conditions (known as atopic conditions) such as eczema, food allergy or hay fever
    • having another atopic condition
    • having bronchiolitis (a common childhood lung infection) as a child
    • childhood exposure to tobacco smoke, particularly if your mother also smoked during pregnancy
    • being born prematurely, especially if you needed a ventilator to support your breathing after birth
    • having a low birth weight as a result of restricted growth within the womb

[1] PHE, National General Practice Profiles

[2] PHE, Inhale - INteractive Health Atlas of Lung conditions in England

[3] NHS Choices, Asthma