HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Respiratory disease deaths by disease type

Influenza and pneumonia, 2017
12.3Influenza and pneumonia, 2016
9Influenza and pneumonia, 2015
8.5Influenza and pneumonia, 2014
8.9Influenza and pneumonia, 2013
7.5Influenza and pneumonia, 2012
8.8Influenza and pneumonia, 2011
8.3Influenza and pneumonia, 2010
8.6Influenza and pneumonia, 2009
6.4Influenza and pneumonia, 2008
6.9Influenza and pneumonia, 2007
8.6Influenza and pneumonia, 2006
12.1Influenza and pneumonia, 2005
13.8Influenza and pneumonia, 2004
16.4Influenza and pneumonia, 2003
17.1Influenza and pneumonia, 2002
14Influenza and pneumonia, 2001
12.1Influenza and pneumonia, 2000
15.5Influenza and pneumonia, 1999
8.9Asthma, 2017
1.7Asthma, 2016
1.6Asthma, 2015
1.5Asthma, 2014
1.5Asthma, 2013
1.4Asthma, 2012
1.5Asthma, 2011
1.3Asthma, 2010
1.8Asthma, 2009
1.7Asthma, 2008
1.7Asthma, 2007
1.8Asthma, 2006
1.9Asthma, 2005
1.5Asthma, 2004
1.7Asthma, 2003
1.5Asthma, 2002
2.1Asthma, 2001
2.1Asthma, 2000
2.8Asthma, 1999
2.7COPD, 2017
26.2COPD, 2016
25.3COPD, 2015
24.4COPD, 2014
24.3COPD, 2013
23.7COPD, 2012
23.1COPD, 2011
22.3COPD, 2010
21COPD, 2009
21.6COPD, 2008
22.1COPD, 2007
23.2COPD, 2006
21.4COPD, 2005
22.5COPD, 2004
24.6COPD, 2003
26COPD, 2002
27.7COPD, 2001
27.1COPD, 2000
30COPD, 1999
30.8Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2017
4.9Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2016
4.9Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2015
4.8Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2014
4.9Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2013
4.5Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2012
4.8Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2011
4.4Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2010
4.8Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2009
4.1Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2008
4.4Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2007
4Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2006
4.1Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2005
3.4Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2004
3.8Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2003
3.8Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2002
4Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2001
3.9Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 2000
3.6Respiratory diseases affecting interstitium, 1999
3.4Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2017
9Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2016
7.8Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2015
8.1Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2014
8.7Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2013
7.7Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2012
14.1Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2011
12.6Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2010
12.4Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2009
13.2Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2008
13.5Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2007
12.8Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2006
11.6Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2005
10.4Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2004
11.2Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2003
11.2Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2002
10.3Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2001
8.7Remaining respiratory diseases*, 2000
10.4Remaining respiratory diseases*, 1999
  • + Source

    Mortality estimates for years up to 2005 are based on Australian Bureau of Statistics death registration data. Data from 2006 onwards were provided by the Australian Coordinating Registry, Cause of Death Unit Record File; the data for the most 2 recent years are preliminary (SAPHaRI, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health)

  • + Notes

    COPD means Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Remaining respiratory diseases* includes all other diseases of the respiratory system not listed individually (see codes tab for further details). 

    Only NSW residents are included. Deaths were classified using ICD-10. Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

    Counts of deaths for the latest year of data include an estimate of the number of deaths occurring in that year but registered in the next year.

    LL/UL 95%CI = lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the point estimate.

  • + Data Table
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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes: Selected respiratory diseases

      The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems

      National Centre for Classification in Health, Australia; AM - Australian Modification
      DescriptionICD-10 & ICD-10-AMComments
      Respiratory diseases: Total J00-J99

      This indicator uses underlying cause of death only.

      All records are included, NSW residents only, all ages.

      Influenza and pneumonia J09-J18
      Asthma J45, J46
      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease J40-J44
      Other respiratory diseases principally affecting the interstitium J80-J84
      Remaining respiratory diseases J30-J39, J60-J70, J85-J86, J90-J99

      Where numbers do not allow reporting of specific diseases, remaining respiratory diseases* also includes Asthma. 

  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • Key points: Respiratory disease

      • In 2019 in NSW, 11.5% of adults aged 16 years and over (8.4% of men and 14.4% of women) had asthma currently, as estimated from the 2019 NSW Adult Population Health Survey (self-reported using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview or CATI). In 2018-2019, 14.8% of boys and 10.8% of girls aged 2-15 years were reported to currently have asthma, with 24.1% of boys and 16.8% of girls reported as ever having asthma, as estimated from the NSW Population Health Survey (self-reported using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview or CATI). Asthma was responsible for 152 deaths in 2018 and 11,290 hospitalisations in 2018-19.

      • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, was responsible for 2,389 deaths in 2018 in NSW (91% or 2,166 in those aged 65 years and over) and more than 22,378 hospitalisations in 2018-19. 

      • Asbestosis is a chronic lung dust disease that is associated with occupational exposure to asbestos. Total hospitalisations due to asbestos in NSW have steadily decreased in recent years. 

    • Introduction: Respiratory disease

      Respiratory diseases

      Respiratory diseases include acute diseases such as influenza and pneumonia, and chronic respiratory diseases (specifically asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asbestosis, and respiratory tuberculosis), where preventive measures and better management of conditions can reduce the burden of disease and reduce associated healthcare costs.

      Chronic respiratory diseases were responsible for 7.5% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia in 2015, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma accounting for 51.4% and 33.8% of this burden, respectively (AIHW 2019).

      Influenza and pneumonia

      Influenza and pneumonia are acute respiratory diseases that can be very severe and, in persons at high risk, can lead to death. Influenza and pneumonia cause around 2.5% of all deaths and around 0.9% of hospital separations and are an important cause of hospitalisations in the very young, and of death and hospitalisations among older age groups.


      Asthma is a significant public health problem in Australia and it is estimated that Australian prevalence rates are among the highest in the world. Fortunately, recent studies in children show no further increase in prevalence. In Australia in 2015, asthma was estimated to account for 2.5% of the disease burden (AIHW 2019).

      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

      Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main conditions comprising chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In Australia in 2015, COPD was estimated to account for 3.9% of the disease burden (AIHW 2019).


      Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the bacterial organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Despite the increasing burden from respiratory tuberculosis globally, it is not a major public health problem in NSW. In fact the mortality and morbidity from all types of tuberculosis in NSW is one of the lowest in the world.

      Lung cancer

      Lung cancer is usually excluded from analyses of respiratory diseases as it is classified with cancers in the International Classification of Diseases (the coding system used for health data in NSW). It has been included with respiratory diseases here to provide a more appropriate measure of the burden of respiratory disease from a clinical and health services planning perspective.

      Risk factors

      Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for both COPD and lung cancer and the current incidence rates of these conditions reflect smoking rates 20 years and more in the past. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Australia.


      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 19. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW. Available at:

    • Interventions: Respiratory diseases


      Written asthma management plans are recommended as part of the national guidelines for the management of asthma: Australian Asthma Handbook (NACA 2015). They enable people with asthma to recognise a deterioration in their condition and initiate appropriate treatment, thereby reducing the severity of acute episodes.

      The Australian Asthma Handbook promotes preventive care activities, proper inhaler technique and adherence and stepped medical management where the use of medicines can be increased or decreased depending on circumstances and the therapy combinations.


      Australia is fortunate in having one of the lowest rates of TB in the world. This has been primarily achieved as a result of a continued commitment to provide specialised health services dedicated to the prevention and control of TB in each of the states and territories. The National TB Advisory Committee’s Strategic Plan for the Control of Tuberculosis, 2011-2015 sets out the goals and objectives of TB control in Australia.

      Despite Australia’s success in reducing TB, there is no room for complacency. Global connectivity through air travel and migration means that TB will remain a public health concern in Australia until worldwide control of TB is achieved. The NSW TB Program is the provider of specialised services for the prevention and control of TB in NSW and plays a vital role in maintaining Australia’s success in reducing the burden of TB.

      Influenza and pneumonia

      Influenza and pneumococcal disease are covered by the National Immunisation Programs in NSW.

      Influenza has been a notifiable disease by all laboratories under the Public Health Act in NSW since 2001. Surveillance is enhanced in winter months when the NSW Ministry of Health collects and reports weekly on influenza-like illness presentations to Emergency Departments, through the Public Health Rapid, Emergency, Disease and Syndromic Surveillance System (PHREDSS), and laboratory-confirmed diagnoses of influenza virus infections.

      Emergency Departments in NSW are prepared for influenza epidemics with peak visit plans and similar measures in winter months.


      National Asthma Council Australia. Australian Asthma Handbook. NACA, 2015. Available at:

    • For more information: Respiratory diseases

      Useful websites

      Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM) at

      National Asthma Council Australia at

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 14 July 2020