First Nations children 0 to 11 years of age living on reserve with asthma, by gender, Canada, 2008/2010

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) 2008/10, National report on adults, youth and children living in First Nations Communities. -accessed July 27, 2017.

In 2008/10, the proportion of asthma among First Nations boys aged 0-11 living on reserve was 13%.

The rate was almost half among girls at 7%.


Asthma is considered a serious health problem for Indigenous children, with prevalence rates between 6-14%.1 Indigenous children may be at increased risk of respiratory diseases due to overcrowding, inadequately constructed housing, inadequate ventilation, poorly maintained housing, presence of mold, exposure to cigarette smoke and other indoor air contaminants such as wood stove combustion products.2 However, due to limited access to asthma specialists in Indigenous communities, Indigenous children may be less likely to be diagnosed or receive treatment for asthma or other respiratory infections like bronchitis which are often difficult to distinguish from asthma.2

1Douglas, M.L., McGhan, S.L., Tougas, D., Fenton, N., Sarin, C., Latycheva, O., & Befus, A.D. (2013). Asthma education programs for First Nations children: An exemplar of the knowledge-to-action framework. Canadian Respiratory Journal, 20(4), 295-300.
2Kovesi, T., Giles, B.L., & Pasterkamp. H. (2012). Long-term management of asthma in First Nations and Inuit children: A knowledge translation tool based on Canadian paediatric asthma guidelines, intended for use by front-line health care professionals working in isolated communities. Paediatrics Child Health, 17(7), e46-e64.