Asthma linked with other breathing conditions

woman bent over with excessive coughing

Almost three quarters of asthmatics have other breathing/lung conditions, new research reveals.

Roy Morgan Research found that between October 2014 and September 2015, more than half (51%) of adults with asthma had hayfever in previous 12 months, well above the national average. While nearly a third snored, and 13% had bronchitis.

Other breathing/lung conditions that were common among asthmatics include: sleep apnoea (9%), respiratory problems (8%) and 3% had emphysema.

Asthma: who’s at risk?

According to Asthma Australia, more boys have childhood asthma than girls, but by adulthood, women with the condition outnumber men. Roy Morgan Research says that its data bears this out as a substantially higher number of women (13%) than men (9%) have asthma.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research says the prevalence of asthma among Australian adults is widespread.

“As if this weren’t enough, asthmatics are often affected by other respiratory conditions, compounding the problem.

“While experts cannot pinpoint one definitive cause for the condition, it is believed that both genetics and lifestyle factors play a role. Lifestyle factors become especially pertinent when we consider that asthma is more prevalent among socio-economically disadvantaged Australians.”

Levine points out that its data shows a correlation between wealth and wellbeing. This is because the wealthier have better access to health education, quality healthcare and nutritious food.

“Meanwhile, among more disadvantaged sectors of the population, there is a much higher incidence of obesity and smoking — both key risk factors for developing asthma; and so the vicious cycle continues,” says Levine.

Levine says it is “crucial” for  health bodies and government agencies to raise awareness among susceptible groups about reducing their asthma risk.

“[Raising awareness] will result in improved quality of life for many people (and save them the expense of regular medication), but it would potentially ease some of the burden of our already stretched healthcare system.”


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