Posted on May 4, 2011 by Patients and Patents
An article from today’s Wall Street Journal highlights the results of a new CDC study, which reports a 12.3% increase in the prevalence of asthma in the United States from 2001-2009. Asthma, a chronic respiratory disease, affected 8.2% of all U.S. residents in 2009 (24.6 million), up from 7.3% in 2001.
The CDC estimated that asthma costs grew to about $56 billion in 2007 from about $53 billion in 2002. The costs include medical expenses and lost productivity from missed work or school days.
Filed under: Commentary on news & events, North America, Public health | Tagged: asthma, chronic conditions, Public health, United States of America | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 3, 2011 by Patients and Patents
May 3rd is World Asthma Day. The theme of this year’s event is ‘You Can Control Your Asthma’, and involves a number of activities with asthma and lung health organizations worldwide.
The Asthma Society of Canada announced that they have added allergy support to their asthma support line service. In addition, the ASC has partnered with Walmart to offer over 270 asthma clinics across the country today.
As reported by the BBC (listen to the radio interview), lives are being put at risk because GPs lack the training they need to treat asthma, according to a study by Asthma UK. Neil Churchill, chief executive of the charity Asthma UK, told BBC Radio 5 live: ”Education for healthcare professionals could be improved.”
Filed under: Commentary on news & events, Public health | Tagged: asthma, Asthma Society of Canada, chronic conditions | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 14, 2010 by Patients and Patents
(Reuters Health) – Children with asthma who live in areas with “smoke-free” laws may suffer fewer bouts of coughing and wheezing as a result, a new study suggests.
The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, add to evidence that smoking bans in workplaces, restaurants and bars have produced health benefits. But until now, most research has focused on adults.
In the current study, researchers found that children and teenagers who lived in U.S. counties with smoke-free laws were no less likely to have asthma than kids in counties without such laws.
Kids with asthma were, however, less likely to report persistent problems with wheezing and nighttime coughing bouts when they lived in smoke-free counties.
Filed under: Commentary on news & events, Public health | Tagged: asthma, chronic conditions, Public health | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 1, 2010 by Steven Lott
As reported by the National Post, a new Canadian study suggests that a sizable minority of child asthma patients rely on alternative treatments like acupuncture and homeopathy, and are more likely to have poor outcomes as a result.
The research by doctors associated with the University of Montreal looked at 2,000 children who came to the Montreal Children’s Hospital asthma centre between 1999 and 2007. About 13% were regular users of alternative therapies, the most common being vitamins, homeopathy and acupuncture. The most concerning finding was that those being treated with such methods were twice as likely to have poor control over their asthma. And the the children most likely to be under alternative care were less than six years old, the scientists’ paper in the Canadian Respiratory Journal says.
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Posted on October 20, 2010 by Patients and Patents
The largest population-based health study ever conducted in North America was launched this past month in an effort to help better understand the causes, prevention and treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.
The Ontario Health Study (OHS) will be the biggest community-based health study ever done in Ontario and is also part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, made up of five regional health studies across the country.
Medical researchers at universities, research institutes and hospitals across Ontario are conducting this study. The governments of Ontario and Canada are funding the Study.
The Study began with an initial phase in which more than 8,000 adults living in three communities in Ontario took part. The main phase of the Study has begun, and is now open to all residents of Ontario who are at least 18 years old.
Altogether, aggregate data from hundreds of thousands of Canadians over time will help build one of the world’s largest profiles of risk factors for diseases.
Source: World Health Advocacy.
Filed under: North America, Public health | Tagged: asthma, Canada, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, non-communicable diseases, Public health | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 21, 2010 by Patients and Patents
Courtesy of the Asthma Society of Canada:
Canadian researchers have found that the September back-to school period brings a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with asthma. This increase starts when students return to school and will peak in the third week of September and continue into October. This year, it is expected to peak between Sept 20 and 26th.
What can you do?
1. Speak with your Certified Asthma Educator and/or healthcare provider to:
- assess your child’s level of asthma control
- have their inhaler technique checked (www.asthmameds.ca)
- perform spirometry (breathing test – usually can be performed age 6 and older)
- review your Asthma Action Plan
2. Speak to your child’s school about their policy on asthma inhaler use and advocate that your student carry their rescue inhaler with them
3. Ensure your child is on their asthma controller medication throughout the year (if prescribed) , even when symptom free. Many students stop their daily asthma controller medications during the summer months and as a result their airways may be inflamed, leaving them more susceptible to the cold virus triggering their asthma during the September Asthma Peak
4. Monitor your child for asthma symptoms daily
5. Identify your child’s triggers (anything that can make their asthma worse) and take steps to minimize trigger exposure
6. Speak to your child about the importance of hand washing to avoid catching and spreading the cold virus
For more information please visit http://asthma.ca/adults/control/septemberPeak.php
Filed under: Commentary on news & events, North America, Public health | Tagged: asthma, Asthma Society of Canada, Canada | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 4, 2010 by Patients and Patents
Today – May 4th, 2010 – is World Asthma Day.
World Asthma Day is an annual event to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. The theme of this year’s event is “You Can Control Your Asthma.” World Asthma Day takes place annually on the first Tuesday of May.
In recognition of the Day, the Asthma Society of Canada (ASC) launched an interactive, virtual tool for people living with asthma and associated allergies, to stay informed on important issues and information needed to plan outdoor activities.
The AsthmaToday Widget can be downloaded to a computer or laptop to gain instant access to the local Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), available for a number of Canadian cities, as well as local weather forecasts and relative humidity. The AsthmaToday Widget also provides the latest news updates from the ASC on programs, educational materials and research, including developments on advocacy initiatives from the ASC’s National Asthma Patient Alliance (NAPA).
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Posted on April 19, 2010 by Patients and Patents
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that the health risks related to the ashes from the volcanic eruption in Iceland are not yet fully known, but they could be harmful when inhaled, especially for people with asthma and other respiratory problems.
It is estimated that about 25 per cent of the particles in the ash resulting from the eruption in Iceland are less than 10 microns in size – considered more dangerous because they can penetrate deeper into the lungs, according to a news release issued by the (WHO).
The agency said that people with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema or bronchitis may be more susceptible to irritation if ash is in the lower atmosphere in high concentrations. But as long as the ash remains in the upper atmosphere, there will not likely be an increased risk of health effects.
WHO noted that at present the cloud is suspended high in the atmosphere and the particles have not begun to settle. When the particles do settle, they could cause an increase in health concerns.
Filed under: Commentary on news & events, Public health | Tagged: asthma, United Nations, volcanic ash, World Health Organization | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2010 by Patients and Patents
More than a quarter of all U.S. children have a chronic health condition, according to research recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of chronic conditions in children and adolescents has increased, particularly for asthma, obesity, and behavior/learning problems.
Other research shows that one in three people (in Ontario, Canada) can expect to be diagnosed with asthma at some point in their life.
The growing prevalence of chronic conditions is not limited to rich countries, as data shows that cases of diabetes, asthma and other conditions are on the rise in many developing countries.
Interestingly, the JAMA report doesn’t suggest that children are less healthy, but rather that the health conditions themselves have changed. Thanks in large part to advances in medical science (vaccines, medicines, devices, etc) fewer children today are affected by infectious diseases, congenital defects or other conditions common 50 years ago.
Filed under: Commentary on news & events, North America, Public health | Tagged: asthma, Canada, chronic conditions, disease prevlance, obesity, Public health, United States of America | Leave a Comment »