Asthma rates falling

One person in every 15 in the UK has asthma, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

An analysis of healthcare records found that 6.52 per cent of the UK population had asthma in 2016 compared with 7.22 per cent in 2006.

Most age groups showed a decline in prevalence since 2006 – for example, rates fell from 10.98 and 10.40 per cent in those 5-11 and 12-17 years to 6.83 and 7.96 per cent but rose in those aged 55 years and older from 5.62 per cent in 2006 to 6.57 per cent in 2016.

The study also found evidence that asthma care is improving. In 2006, 65 per cent of current asthma patients were managed using inhaled corticosteroids – this rose to 80 per cent in 2016. The proportion with an annual asthma review increased from 38.6 to 43.7 per cent and those with a management plan rose from 6.2 to 19.7 per cent between 2006 and 2016 respectively.

Nevertheless, these findings revealed room for improvement: more than half of people don’t have an annual review and over 80 per cent don’t even have a management plan.

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