Study objectives: To compare the trends of asthma mortality and place of death in young patients (ages 5 to 34 years) from different major population groups in Israel.
Design: Retrospective study.
Patients and participants: Patients who died from asthma between the years 1980 and 1997 according to the death record of the National Israeli Health Registry.
Results: During the period studied, 100 asthma mortality cases were reported, which yields a mean mortality rate of 0.226 per 100,000 population. There were no significant changes in the mortality rates over the years. The mean (± SD) age of death was 23 ± 7 years. Of this population, 84.5% were Jews and 15.5% were Arabs, which is proportionate to the general Israeli population. In 52% of the cases, the patients died outside a hospital. There was no significant difference in the place of death between Jews and Arabs. Significantly more men (62.5%) than women (40%) died outside the hospital (p = 0.025).
Conclusions: The asthma mortality rate in Israel during the years 1980 to 1997 was low and stable. Most of the patients still died outside the hospital. There was no difference in the asthma death rate and place of death between Jews and Arabs, suggesting that in our population genetic predisposition is not likely to be a risk factor for mortality.