In 2018, 10,4% of young people aged 14 and 15 indicated that they had asthma.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Asthma is a chronic disease characterised by narrowing of the airways – the bronchi become so constricted that air can hardly circulate – and recurring attacks. People with asthma are often restricted in their activities throughout life.

Asthma is one of the most frequent chronic diseases among children and young people as well as among adults. Although the exact causes are not fully understood, the development of asthma is mainly ascribed to allergens, harmful substances or particles.


This indicator shows the share of 14- and 15-year-olds who reported that they had been diagnosed with asthma by a doctor. It is based on the Swiss survey of pupils 'Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC)'.

The indicator is based on the question 'Do you have a physical disability, a chronic illness or chronic disease diagnosed by a doctor?'  The following diseases were mentioned: physical disability / asthma /  type 1 diabetes / type 2 diabetes / hay fever / attention deficiency disorder with and without hyperactivity (ADHS or ADS) / other long-term illness. The answer categories per illness were 'yes / no'.
Only 14 to 15 year-olds were asked this question.

Language region: The language region to which an interviewed school class belongs was determined by the language of the questionnaire sent to them (German, French or Italian). This is generally the (official) language of the commune in which the school is located. Classes in the Romansh language region received the German version of the questionnaire. Pupils in these classes are thus included in the ‘German’ category.

The national HBSC sample contains a limited number of 11 to 15 year-olds in the Italian language region. The results calculated for this comparatively small group of young people are subject to large margins of error (or confidence intervals). Furthermore, they cannot be considered representative of all 11 to 15 year-olds in the Italian language region. For this reason, young people in the Italian language region are analysed together with those in the French language region.


Further information

  • Addiction Switzerland. Swiss HBSC study: Website
  • Ambord, S. et al. (2020). Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden der 11- bis 15-jährigen Jugendlichen in der Schweiz im Jahr 2018 und zeitliche Entwicklung - Resultate der Studie “Health Behaviour in School-aged Children” (HBSC). Sucht Schweiz, Lausanne: Report (in German) 
  • HBSC International Coordinating Centre: International HBSC study: Website

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