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Asthma cases in decline

21 October 2011 - 2:28pm

The number of children and young people with asthma is decreasing, according to new figures.

The Asthma in Australia 2011 study was conducted by the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring (ACAM) - a collaborating unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - and found that the prevalence of asthma declined in people aged five to 34 years by over 25 per cent between 2001 and 2007-08.

The number of people who have been hospitalised for asthma had also decreased over the six-year period, freeing up the public and private health systems.

Some private health insurance providers offer assistance in asthma management, and may be able to help establish an asthma action plan.

The ACAM study found that in 2008, one in ten Australians were estimated to have been suffering from asthma - the equivalent to about two million people. Among those under the age of 14, current asthma is more common among males than females, but among those aged 15 and over, the reverse is true.

One alarming figure to come out of the report was the percentage of asthma suffers who were also smokers.

"People with asthma also smoke at least as much as people without asthma, despite the known adverse effects," ACAM director Guy Marks said.

Quit smoking programs may also be covered by some private health cover providers.