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Risk Factors for Asthma

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Asthma

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get asthma with or without the risks below. The more risks as person has, the greater the chances are.

Things that can raise the risk are:

  • Having family members with asthma
  • Having allergies, especially to:
    • Pollen
    • Animal dander
    • Mites
    • Molds
    • Dust and dust mites
  • Some foods or food additives
  • Health conditions, such as:
  • Working in farming, painting, and cleaning
  • Smoking, smoking when pregnant—or being around secondhand smoke
  • Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—in some people
  • Exercise


  • Acute asthma exacerbation in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-asthma-exacerbation-in-children. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  • Asthma exacerbation in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/asthma-exacerbation-in-adults-and-adolescents. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  • Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/asthma-in-adults-and-adolescents. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  • Chronic asthma in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-asthma-in-children. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  • 2022 Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) global strategy for asthma management and prevention. Available at: https://ginasthma.org/gina-reports. Accessed May 9, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.