The burden of asthma in India, the World’s most populous country

Dr Nishtha Singh, Asthma Bhawan, Jaipur, India

Indians constitute a notable 13% of the global population affected by asthma, yet their impact on asthma-related mortality is disproportionately high, contributing to an alarming 42% of such cases. This stark incongruity highlights a pressing need for a comprehensive investigation into the factors underlying this discrepancy. A potential avenue for garnering deeper insights lies in the utilization of Indian GAN data. A closer examination of the data underscores a significant underdiagnosis challenge, where only a quarter of asthma cases receive a formal diagnosis, leaving a substantial 75% of cases undiagnosed. This revelation suggests that a considerable portion of the Indian population may be grappling with asthma without the awareness or medical attention required.

Furthermore, the analysis reveals a troubling under-treatment trend. Among diagnosed individuals, a mere 30% (of the 25% diagnosed) are using Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) as part of their treatment regimen. In stark contrast, the undiagnosed group, comprising 75% of cases, sees an alarming figure of under 2.7% utilizing ICS. This underscores not only a gap in diagnosis but also a significant deficit in the effective management of diagnosed cases. These findings offer invaluable insights that could play a pivotal role in bridging the existing gap between the prevalence of asthma and its mortality rate in India.


  • Singh S, Salvi S, Mangal DK, Singh M, Awasthi S, Mahesh PA, Kabra SK, Mohammed S, Sukumaran TU, Ghoshal AG, Barne M, Sinha S, Kochar SK, Singh N, Singh U, Patel KK, Sharma AK, Girase B, Chauhan A, Sit N, Siddaiah JB, Singh V. Prevalence, time trends and treatment practices of asthma in India: the Global Asthma Network study. ERJ Open Res 2022; 8: 00528-2021 [DOI: 10.1183/ 23120541.00528-2021]. 


GAN gratefully acknowledges funding from the University of Auckland and Wellcome (Grant number 203919/Z/16/Z) as well as sponsorship from AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline that has helped to make the GAN Symposium 2024 possible. We thank the speakers and the organisations they represent for their contributions including securing their own funding to enable their participation. The Symposium programme was developed independently by the GAN Steering Group.

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