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What are Chronic Respiratory Diseases?

Chronic respiratory diseases (or CRDs) are diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. The most common chronic respiratory diseases are asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD). Other prevalent CRDs include pulmonary hypertension, sleep apnea, and occupational lung diseases. 

Common Risk Factors of CRDs include

  • tobacco smoking
  • allergens
  • outdoor and indoor air pollution
  • second-or-third-hand exposure to tobacco smoke
  • occupational risks

Treatment Options

Treatments for CRDs vary, but reducing exposure to risk factors and following evidence-based practices are the most effective solutions. Although most chronic respiratory diseases cannot be cured, treatments can reduce symptoms which improves the quality of life for those who suffer from them. For more information on specific treatment options, please refer to our "Asthma"  and "COPD" webpages. We also recommend that you consult your medical provider(s) on which treatments are the best for you.

Rates of CRDs in Indiana

  • 1 in 10 (9.8%) of Indiana adults (18 years and older) have been diagnosed with asthma. We see these prevalence rates being the highest amongst adults who are: female, multiracial, or live with an annual household income of less than $15,000
  • 1 in 9 (8.6) of Indiana children (ages 5 to 17) have been diagnosed with asthma. In Indiana, asthma rates are highest amongst children who are female, African American, or Hispanic.

To better understand where in Indiana CRD rates are the most prevalent, we studied which counties within our state experience the highest rates of Emergency Department Visits due to chronic respiratory diseases. We found that...

  • For both adults (ages 18 and older) and children (ages 5 to 17 years), emergency department visits are significantly higher in the following counties: Fountain County, Howard County, and Marion County

CRD Resources

Quit Now Indiana
Chronic respiratory disease burden | Pan American Health Organization
IN Asthma Plan 2021
Asthma Home (in.gov)
COPD Home (in.gov)

The Mission of the IDOH's Chronic Respiratory Disease section

The mission of the Chronic Respiratory disease section of the Indiana Department of Health is to reduce the burden of all chronic respiratory diseases on Hoosiers.

For more information, please contact the Indiana Department of Health's:

Chronic Respiratory Disease Program within the Division of Chronic Disease, Primary Care and Rural Health

2 North Meridian Street, Section 6B
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Telephone: (317) 234-7631
Fax: (317) 233-7805
IDOHAsthma@isdh.in.gov