(Having lived with asthma all my life, and today being World Asthma Day.... I have decided to share 10 facts released May 2004 on Asthma but first I would like to share a fact released May 2005)
Someone dies of asthma every minute in the world.
1. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in
the world. It is estimated that around 300 million people
in the world currently have asthma. Considerably higher
estimates can be obtained with less conservative criteria
for the diagnosis of clinical asthma.
2. The international patterns of asthma prevalence are not
explained by the current knowledge of the causation of
asthma. Research into the causation of asthma, and the
efficacy of primary and secondary intervention strategies,
represent key priority areas in the field of asthma research.
3. Asthma has become more common in both children and
adults around the world in recent decades. The increase
in the prevalence of asthma has been associated with an
increase in atopic sensitisation, and is paralleled by
similar increases in other allergic disorders such as
eczema and rhinitis.
4. The rate of asthma increases as communities adopt
western lifestyles and become urbanised. With the
projected increase in the proportion of the world's
population that is urban from 45% to 59% in 2025, there
is likely to be a marked increase in the number of
asthmatics worldwide over the next two decades. It is
estimated that there may be an additional 100 million
persons with asthma by 2025.
5. In many areas of the world persons with asthma do not
have access to basic asthma medications or medical care.
Increasing the economic wealth and improving the
distribution of resources between and within countries
represent important priorities to enable better health care
to be provided.
6. The number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost
due to asthma worldwide has been estimated to be
currently about 15 million per year. Worldwide, asthma
accounts for around 1% of all DALYs lost, which reflects
the high prevalence and severity of asthma. The number
of DALYs lost due to asthma is similar to that for diabetes,
cirrhosis of the liver, or schizophrenia.
7. The burden of asthma in many countries is of sufficient
magnitude to warrant its recognition as a priority disorder
in government health strategies. Particular resources need
to be provided to improve the care of disadvantaged
groups with high morbidity, including certain racial
groups and those who are poorly educated, live in large
cities, or are poor. Resources also need to be provided to
address preventable factors, such as air pollution, that
trigger exacerbations of asthma.
8. It is estimated that asthma accounts for about 1 in every
250 deaths worldwide. Many of the deaths are
preventable, being due to suboptimal long-term medical
care and delay in obtaining help during the final attack.
9. The economic cost of asthma is considerable both in
terms of direct medical costs (such as hospital admissions
and cost of pharmaceuticals) and indirect medical costs
(such as time lost from work and premature death).
10. Until there is a greater understanding of the factors that
cause asthma and novel public health and
pharmacological measures become available to reduce
the prevalence of asthma, the priority is to ensure that
cost-effective management approaches which have been
proven to reduce morbidity and mortality are available to
as many persons as possible with asthma worldwide.
more info can be found at http://www.ginasthma.com/