Tracking Asthma in Vermont

Asthma is a chronic disease in which the lungs become inflamed and airways narrow and react to triggers. These triggers can be found in both indoor and outdoor environments. The most common outdoor triggers are pollen, exercise, pollution, particulate matter, diesel fuel and pesticides. Indoor triggers for asthma include mold, dust, smoke, secondhand smoke and pet dander.

A question mark with the words "Did you know?" under it.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the U.S. Vermont has one of the highest rates of asthma among adults (12%) and women (15%).

If you have asthma, work with your health care provider to make a written asthma management plan (also called an Asthma Action Plan).

Explore Asthma Data

The reports below are interactive, which means you can:

  • Click on the tabs and buttons to navigate within the reports.
  • Hover over or click on the graphs, tables and maps to learn more.
  • Make the display bigger by clicking the button below.

View in Full Screen


Your Questions Answered
What is asthma and what causes it?

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs. The airways of a person with asthma narrow and swell and can produce extra mucous, making breathing difficult. A cause for asthma has not been specifically identified. Some risk factors include a family history of asthma, allergies, occupational exposures, viral respiratory infections or smoking.

What are some examples of environmental pollutants that can trigger asthma attacks?

Air pollution can trigger attacks and make asthma symptoms worse. Two key air pollutants can affect asthma: ozone and particle pollution. When ozone or particle pollution are in the air, adults and children with asthma are more likely to have difficulty breathing.

Ozone is often worst on hot summer days, especially in the afternoons and early evenings. Particle pollution can be bad any time of year, even in winter. Particle levels can also be high near busy roads, during rush hour, and around factories and when smoke is in the air from wood stoves, fireplaces, forest fires or burning vegetation.

How is asthma impacted by climate change in Vermont?

A lengthening growing season and increased plant growth due to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air will likely increase allergenic pollen in the air we breathe. This could have widespread respiratory impacts to Vermonters, especially those with asthma.

More frequent heavy precipitation events and other severe weather events—such as high winds, flooding, and winter storms—can cause water damage to buildings, increasing problems with household mold. Climate-induced increases in indoor dampness can increase health problems related to dampness and mold, such as worsening asthma.

What asthma data are included in the Vermont Tracking portal?

Vermont Tracking provides annual data about hospitalizations for asthma starting in 2000, and emergency department visits for asthma starting in 2003.

More Information
A pointer cursor signifying a website link.
Vermont Asthma Program
Last Updated: