Asthma prevalence and deaths in Australia still high by world standards, despite declining trends

October 21, 2008

The report, Asthma in Australia 2008, estimates that asthma affects more than 1 in 10 Australians -- equivalent to over 2 million people.

Professor Guy Marks, Director of the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring, said the prevalence of asthma in Australian children is plateauing, if not declining.

'In the long run, this should reduce the overall burden of asthma in Australia,' Professor Marks said.

Report co-author, Leanne Poulos said, 'Although asthma deaths declined significantly between 1989 and 2006, the Australian death rate is still high on an international scale.'

Although lower than New Zealand and the UK, asthma death rates in Australia are almost three times the rate in Europe.

Asthma accounted for 402 deaths in Australia in 2006.

The report showed that hospital admission rates for asthma have also declined since 1993󈟊, by 45% among adults and by 42% among children.

Despite these positive trends, asthma continues to be a major concern in Australia and there are several areas we can work on to improve asthma outcomes,' Professor Marks said.

Of particular concern is that:

-- Australians with asthma continue to smoke almost as commonly as people without asthma, despite the known adverse effects.
-- An estimated 11% of Australian children with asthma live in homes where smoking occurs inside the home.
-- The majority of people with asthma do not have a written asthma action plan, even though national guidelines have recommended their use for the past 20 years.
-- Asthma is a major problem among Indigenous Australians. Compared with non-Indigenous Australians, they have higher rates of hospitalisation and mortality due to asthma.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: New research shows one in four chronically ill Australians is skipping healthcare because of high costs

Related Stories

One million Australians living in "unhealthy" housing

August 25, 2016

New research led by the University of Adelaide has highlighted the link between poor living conditions and health, and estimates that more than one million Australians are living in sub-standard housing.

Rewiring DNA circuitry could help treat asthma

July 5, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Reprogramming asthma-promoting immune cells in mice diminishes airway damage and inflammation, and could potentially lead to new treatments for people with asthma, researchers have found.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.