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Thirty million Europeans have asthma

Published on 03/05/2005

3 May 2005

BRUSSELS – As many as 30 million Europeans suffer from asthma, according to the latest figures.

On Tuesday, La Libre Belgique published a report on the condition to coincide with World Asthma Day.

Of all the Europeans which suffer asthma, 6 million of them have serious symptoms, with many having sleep interrupted and particularly bad spells of the condition.

The number of people with asthma has doubled during the last 10 years, now affecting an average of 5.9 percent of the western European population.

The UK and Ireland are hit the worst, with 16.1 percent of the population suffering.

In total, there are 300 million people with asthma in the world.

La Libre Belgique said a survey had been carried out into asthma in Germany, Spain, France, the UK and Sweden by the European Federation of Asthma and Allergy Associations (EFA).

It revealed that two-thirds (63 percent) of asthma patients have their sleep interrupted at least once a week, three-quarters (76 percent) have their breathing affected at least once a week because of the condition and a quarter (25 percent) have an asthma attack at least once a week that makes speaking harder than usual.

The survey, which was carried out last year and this year, included 1,300 patients.

Some 76 percent of them said asthma was “irritating”, 63 percent described the condition as “painful” and 58 percent found it “stressful”.

Surprisingly, more than a quarter of asthma patients (27 percent) still smoke.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news