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Nearly all asthma deaths preventable

A new survey says nearly all deaths due to asthma can be prevented if the patients and their doctors had better understanding of the disease. According to WHO, around 150 million people suffer from asthma worldwide and nearly 2 lakh people die due to the disease every year. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease, often linked with allergies, that is characterized by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction, and coughing.

The Asian study sponsored by international pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, involved over 3,200 asthma patients and parents of asthma sufferers in 13 cities across China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. It was conducted between September and December 2000.

World Health Organisation says that over the past two decades, the number of asthma sufferers has been steadily increasing.

Doctors around the world consider corticosteroids as the most effective preventive treatment. But with worsening air quality and increasing levels of pollution, the symptoms are worsening and number of asthmatics needing hospitalization is increasing.

The doctors who assisted the survey say that underestimation of the severity of asthma can lead to dangerous and life threatening situations.

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