BBC asthma articles
Treatments 'Failing' Asthma Patients
BBC News Tuesday, 5 September, 2000, 00:25 GMT 01:25 UK
3.4 million people in the UK have asthma More than a million people in the UK are heavily dependent on medicines to cope with their asthma and have difficulty with day-to-day activities, according to a study. Research carried out by the National Asthma Campaign reveals that asthma seriously affects the quality of life of 1.4 million in the UK. It shows that one-in-five of the UK's 3.4 million asthma suffers are heavily dependent on medication to get through each day. Hundreds of thousands of people have problems walking upstairs or playing sport because of their condition. They also experience a wide range of symptoms, including coughing, wheezing and tightness of the chest every single day and night of their lives. Just 16% of the 800 people questioned as part of the study said they had mild asthma or few symptoms.
The study reveals for the first time the effects of asthma on British people. Anne Smith, chief executive of the National Asthma Campaign, described the findings as shocking. "We are both shocked and saddened to find that for such a large number of people with asthma, the condition dominates their life to such a degree that it is having a major impact. "People with asthma have a right to expect more from life with asthma," she said. The National Asthma Campaign's chief medical adviser, Dr Martyn Partridge, said a combination of factors was to blame for the problem. "We still need more research to understand why this is the case. Early analysis of this study suggests a possible combination of factors.
"It may be that health care professionals are not providing the advice and treatment needed for individuals to manage their asthma effectively from initial diagnosis. "For others it may be that they are receiving the advice and treatment but not acting upon it, and for a significant majority of people with the most severe asthma, it may be that available medicines are simply not effectively treating their condition."
Junk food linked to increase in asthma
BBC Newsround - Wednesday, 20th December 2000
New research suggests that fast food could be a leading cause in the increase in child asthma around the world.
Scientists have linked asthma symptoms to a diet that lacks fresh vegetables, vitamins and minerals. The study, carried out in Saudi Arabia, found that children who ate fresh produce were less likely to suffer than those who ate processed, frozen and pre-prepared meals.
One in seven children in the UK suffers from asthma. The number of children under the age of five who develop asthma and wheezing has almost doubled in the past 10 years.
Doctors have suspected that diet might play a role in the trend. The new study was led by Scottish researchers in Saudi Arabia, where modern and traditional communities live side-by-side. It found striking differences between children from the fast-moving "westernised" city, Jeddah, and those living in several rural villages.
Children with the lowest consumption of vegetables, milk, fibre, vitamin E and essential minerals were at significantly greater risk of suffering a wheezy illness. Along with family history and allergic tendencies, eating at fast food outlets was identified as a significant risk factor for wheezing.