Asthma deaths decrease, but still high on an international level: report

Asthma deaths decrease, but still high on an international level: report

A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has revealed although the death rate from asthma has decreased by almost 70 percent since the 1980’s, it remains relatively high on an international scale.

The report released today on asthma and chronic pulmonary disease provides details on how such diseases have affected Australians over the last sixty years, with mortality rates fluctuating over the period.

It says that while the United States and the United Kingdom report similar asthma mortality rates to Australia for people aged five-thirty four, rates are lower in places such as Japan, Germany and France.

AIHW Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring spokesperson, Professor Guy Marks says that the asthma mortality rate in Australia has fluctuated over the last century, peaking in the late 1950’s, mid 1960’s and late
1980’s.

The report examined asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) through various demographic or psychographic trends including seasonal variation, gender, remoteness, Indigenous status, country of birth and
socioeconomic disadvantage.

Professor Marks says that while asthma and COPD were both chronic lung diseases, COPD mainly affected older people, whilst asthma affected people of all ages.

“Our report also shows that COPD is a leading cause of death in Australia and internationally, and many deaths due to both asthma and COPD are potentially preventable,’ Professor Marks said.

Whilst deaths due to asthma and COPD are higher among Australians from English-speaking countries of birth, the reports showed Indigenous Australians or people living in remote parts of Australia with the greatest socioeconomic disadvantage were placed at the greatest risk.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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