HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Respiratory diseases hospitalisations

Males, 2017-18
1824.3Males, 2016-17
1780.7Males, 2015-16
1768.8Males, 2014-15
1740.4Males, 2013-14
1701.4Males, 2012-13
1694.4Males, 2011-12
1737.2Males, 2010-11
1691.1Males, 2009-10
1670.5Males, 2008-09
1686.6Males, 2007-08
1715Males, 2006-07
1598.7Males, 2005-06
1604.5Males, 2004-05
1621.7Males, 2003-04
1623.1Males, 2002-03
1641.2Males, 2001-02
1699Females, 2017-18
1603.7Females, 2016-17
1574Females, 2015-16
1519.4Females, 2014-15
1510.1Females, 2013-14
1423.2Females, 2012-13
1399.5Females, 2011-12
1450.8Females, 2010-11
1402.1Females, 2009-10
1354Females, 2008-09
1372.5Females, 2007-08
1378.9Females, 2006-07
1254.4Females, 2005-06
1255Females, 2004-05
1250.2Females, 2003-04
1271.3Females, 2002-03
1263.4Females, 2001-02
1286.6Persons, 2017-18
1704.4Persons, 2016-17
1667.4Persons, 2015-16
1633.3Persons, 2014-15
1614.1Persons, 2013-14
1549.6Persons, 2012-13
1533.1Persons, 2011-12
1578.7Persons, 2010-11
1531.2Persons, 2009-10
1497.1Persons, 2008-09
1513.2Persons, 2007-08
1530.2Persons, 2006-07
1408.4Persons, 2005-06
1412.4Persons, 2004-05
1414.7Persons, 2003-04
1427.6Persons, 2002-03
1431.4Persons, 2001-02
  • + Source

    NSW Combined Admitted Patient Epidemiology Data and ABS population estimates (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    The 'Remaining respiratory diseases' category include respiratory diseases not individually reported, such as aspiration pneumonia, bronchiectasis, deviated nasal septum, pleural diseases, pulmonary oedema, sinusitis, tonsillitis and others.

    Only NSW residents are included. Rehabilitation episodes are excluded. Figures are based on where a person resides, rather than where they are treated. Hospital separations were classified using ICD-10-AM. Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

    Patients treated solely within the emergency department are excluded from this indicator report due to a policy change (PD2017_015). Please note that a minority of patients being managed in short stay areas of emergency departments are still included. Further information is found in a paper in the HealthStatsPLUS Methods tab on this website.

    Numbers for recent years include an estimate of the small number of hospitalisations of NSW residents in interstate public hospitals, data for which were unavailable at the time of production. Further details can be found in the Methods tab in the following HealthStats NSW indicator:

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

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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 principal diagnosis only.

      All records are included for NSW residents only. Records involving rehabilitation are excluded.

      Episodes that are entirely within an emergency department are excluded.

      Influenza and pneumonia J09-J18

      All other acute upper (J00-J06) and lower (J20-J22) respiratory infections

      J00-J06 or J20-J22
      Asthma J45, J46
      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease J40-J44
      Lung dust disease J60-J67
      Remaining respiratory diseases J07, J08, J19, J23-J39, J47-J59, J68-J99
      Cancer: lung. This type is not included in the Total of respiratory diseases. C33-C34

      Where small numbers do not allow reporting of hospitalisations for lung dust disease, these are included in remaining respiratory diseases

  • + 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, 7 April 2020