Health Hazard -Asthma a major problem

Respiratory ailments double, cost 23 lives daily

New Delhi: World Health Organization’s data that indicates Delhi has the most polluted air in the world has confirmed what they have anecdotally known all along, say doctors in the city. They claim the deterioration in air quality has clearly been reflected in the number of patients with respiratory ailments and poor lung function, which has gone up several times over the past few years.
In 2012, the statistical handbook released by the state government said that an average of 23 people die every day due to respiratory diseases in the capital. The number of cases, data showed, had doubled in the past four years. Doctors say worsening air quality, a major trigger for respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and infections, may cause more fatalities in the coming years if appropriate measures are not taken.
“The response to medicines has changed. Inhalers and nebulisers are proving ineffective in controlling symptoms of respiratory ailments. The number of emergency admissions, particularly among the elderly, has gone up too,” says Dr Arup Basu, vice-chairman of pulmonology department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He says illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, cough and aggravation of asthma symptoms seen during change of season –onset of winter and summer season– are now observed throughout the year.
“Usually, these infections go away in a week or two but due to environmental changes we are seeing a lot of patients complaining about these symptoms continuing for over
amonth despite medications ,” adds the doctor. Dr A B Dey, professor and head of geriatric medicine at AIIMS, says exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or pneumonia infections are reported throughout the year.
It’s not just respiratory diseases, but the decline in air quality is causing increasein the incidence of other health ailments, including rheumatic arthritis, heart failure and depression.
“Incidence of autoimmune diseases, for example rheumatoid arthritis, has increased significantly which cannot be explained merely by citing genetic changes. The role of ambient air pollution, which is a known cause of aberration in the immune status of genetically predisposed individuals and even healthy ones, is being investigated,” says Dr Uma Kumar, head of clinical immunology and rheumatology department at AIIMS. She says that more than 200 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis visit the hospital every week.


Some Shocking numbers and stats to know about asthma:


300 million live with asthma

250,000 deaths due to asthma each year

15 million years of healthy life (disability adjusted life years: DALYs) are lost due to asthma

Asthma is most prevalent in developed nations: the United Kingdom, Canada, and U.S.


In the United States:

Nearly 19 million adults and 7 million children in the U.S. live with asthma

3,388 died due to asthma in 2009

44,000 asthma attacks occur each day

4,700 asthma emergency room visits daily

More than 36,000 kids miss school and 27,000 adults miss work every day due to asthma


The economic costs of asthma are among the
highest for non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
because of the substantial health service use, in many
cases over a lifetime . The largest direct costs are for
inpatient care and pharmaceuticals . The principal
indirect costs stem from loss of productivity due to
missed work and school .
While the exact cost of asthma worldwide cannot
be determined, a 2009 systematic review found 8
national studies which reported total cost, illustrating
its substantial impact . Of those with a study duration
of one year, the costs reported in 2008 US dollars
were all very high, but also varied widely: Canada
$654 million; Germany $2,740 million and $4,430
million; Singapore $49 .36 million; Switzerland $1,413
million; and USA $7,189 million, $8,256 million and
$2,300 million . In 2004, new cases of occupational
asthma alone in the United Kingdom cost GB£70–
100 million .
As the proportion of people with asthma in
the population rises, all of these costs will become
greater . Clearly more population-based research on
the economic burden of asthma is needed, especially
in low- and middle-income countries where the
prevalence of asthma is increasing


1. If an asthma patient notice he/she is coming down with asthma symptoms stop doing what you are doing and remain calm.

2. In asthma attack situation if patient stressed out it will only worsen the attack.

3. Drinking cold water make an attack worse so remember to drink lukewater.

4. Do not run or walk fast in order to get to a particular location, this will speed up body metabolism and make the attack worse.

5. In attack situation avoid talking as it is a hard work on the neck muscles and cause them to tense up.

6. In winters avoid cold places and keep your body warm.

7. If you go outside in winters wearing an extra undershirt or jacket is never a bad idea.

8. In summers drink a lot of fluids and stay cool.

9. In summers avoid overheating your body it will heighten the chances of attack.

10. Avoid crowded and noisy places as much as possible.

11. In attack situation ask someone to grab the medications you need.

12. Prefer to eat such foods which strengthen the lungs i.e. grams or pulse of gram and its products.

13. If you are allergic to certain foods avoid them. e.g. some persons cannot digest tamarind that causes sneezing and ultimately if it persists then it sometimes turns into asthma.

14. In spring season, Cover your nose with handkerchief as in these days atmosphere is full of pollens.

15. Swimming is a good exercise for asthma patients as swimmers are required to control breathing while jumping into the deep water .

16. Swimming strengthens the lungs so its good for asthma patients also .

17. Only consult the doctor for advice and proper prescription.

18. Patients should regularly follow doctors advice.

19. Always keep your Inhalers near you.

20. Inhalers are the most preferred controller medication for persons with uncontrolled asthma.

21. Asthma Inhalers provide better control of Asthma symptoms and prevent future attacks.

22. Always take your medication regularly as prescribed by doctor.

23. If patient is feeling well completely then still he has to take preventative treatment everyday because asthma can’t be cured but it can be minimized.

24. Smoking is not good for asthma patients as its irritants can trigger asthma attacks.

25. Smoking makes a inhaled medicine less effective so stop smoking if you are an asthma patient.

26. Smoking can increase your medicine intake and worse your lungs health.

27. Asthma patients should stay in smoke free environment.

28. Asthma patients should take regular exercise.

29. If patient find exercise gives him troublesome asthma symptoms, he/she should discuss this with their doctor as you may need more preventive treatment.

30. For an asthma patient Walking , Swimming , cycling are the best exercises.

31. Patient should take care of himself in cold weather and keep inhalers close by and in a warm place.

32. Obesity cause an adverse impact on asthma so he should try to stay a healthy weight.

33. Asthma patient should avoid eating fast food as it causes obesity.

34. Asthma is beatable it can reduce it to a great Extent.

35. Patient should always try to breathe from nose during exercise as nose warms and filters the air before letting it go to lungs.

36. If a patient breathe through mouth during exercise it will increase the risk of triggering asthma symptoms.

37. Proper exercising definitely strengthens the respiratory muscles.

38. Exercising help in maintaining weight and decrease risk of heart disease due to asthma.

39. Asthma patient should monitor his/her health and talk to doctor before beginning to any sport.

40. Asthma patient should not exercise in non green zones it will worse his/her health


Asthma is a growing problem which is spontaneously fixing its deadly roots under the immense pressure and stress in
today’s fast life.
According to World Health Organization around 300 million people suffer from asthma and every year around
30 million people die because of Asthma across the world. The number of asthma patient’s is increasing steadily

around the globe, also it is Untitledestimated that the number will rise by 100 million by 2025.

And as we talk about India, the results are stunning, every year around 65,000 people die because of this chronic
One of the main reasons of deaths in this is poor adherence to the asthmatic medication.
According to a survey, on an average 40-60% patient’s with asthma adheres to the prescribed regimen and only 1 out
of 30 patients’ follows to the doctor’s prescription

Food Allergies and Asthma

While it’s not common for food allergies to cause asthma symptoms, food allergies can cause a severe life-threatening reaction. The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:

  • Eggs
  • Cow’s milk
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shrimp and other shellfish
  • Salads & fresh fruits

Food Preservatives and Asthma

Food preservatives can also trigger an asthma attack. Additives, such as sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium met bisulfite, potassium met bisulfite, and sodium sulfite, are commonly used in food processing or preparation and can be found in foods such as:

  • Dried fruits or vegetables
  • Potatoes (packaged and some prepared)
  • Wine and beer
  • Bottled lime or lemon juice
  • Shrimp (fresh, frozen, or prepared)
  • Pickled foods

Symptoms of Food Allergies and Asthma

In most people, the usual symptoms of food allergies are hives, rash, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have food allergies that trigger symptoms of an asthma attack, you will likely experience these allergy symptoms, followed by coughing and wheezing. And if not caught quickly, anaphylaxis — swelling of the throat, cutting off the airway — may result.

If you suspect that certain foods are asthma triggers for you, discuss this with your doctor. Allergy skin tests can be done to determine if you are allergic to these foods.

What Do I Do If I Have Food Allergies and Asthma?

Avoid the Food Trigger. Try not to come into contact with the food you are allergic to. Avoiding food triggers can be challenging. It is important to always read food labels and, when dining out, ask how foods are prepared.

Consider Allergy Shots. The second thing you can do is to train your immune system to not overreact. Doctors do this by giving you allergy shots (immunotherapy) for asthma. An allergy shot is a small amount of the substance that causes your allergy. By giving repeated shots of the substance over a period of time, your immune system eventually stops causing the allergic reaction. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for allergy shots. Sublingual Immunotherapy is an alternative to allergy shots. The medicine is dissolved under your tongue instead of through a shot.

Asthma Statistics

United States

• The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the U.S. population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001.
• More than half (53%) of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack. 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007.
• About 1 in 10 children (10%) had asthma and 1 in 12 adults (8%) had asthma in 2009. Women were more likely than men and boys more likely than girls to have asthma.
• In 2010, 3 out of 5 children who have asthma had one or more asthma attacks in the previous 12 months.
• For the period 2008–2010, asthma prevalence was higher among children than adults.
• In 2008 less than half of people with asthma reported being taught how to avoid triggers. Almost half (48%) of adults who were taught how to avoid triggers did not follow most of this advice.
• About 1 in 9 (11%) non-Hispanic blacks of all ages and about 1 in 6 (17%) of non-Hispanic black children had asthma in 2009, the highest rate among racial/ethnic groups.
• For the period 2008–2010, asthma prevalence was higher among multiple-race, black, and American Indian or Alaska Native persons than white persons.
• From 2001 through 2009 asthma rates rose the most among black children, almost a 50% increase.
• From 2001 through 2009, the greatest rise in asthma rates was among black children (almost a 50% increase).

• Asthma cost the US about $3,300 per person with asthma each year from 2002 to 2007 in medical expenses, missed school and work days, and early deaths.
• Asthma costs in the US grew from about $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007, about a 6% increase.
• More than half (59%) of children and one-third (33%) of adults who had an asthma attack missed school or work because of asthma in 2008. On average, in 2008 children missed 4 days of school and adults missed 5 days of work because of asthma.

Health Care Visits/Hospital
• In 2008, asthma hospitalizations were 1.5 times higher among female than male patients.
• From 2001 to 2009, health care visits for asthma per 100 persons with asthma declined in primary care settings, while asthma emergency department visit and hospitalization rates were stable.
• For the period 2007–2009, black persons had higher rates for asthma emergency department visits and hospitalizations per 100 persons with asthma than white persons, and a higher asthma death rate per 1,000 persons with asthma. Compared with adults, children had higher rates for asthma primary care and emergency department visits, similar hospitalization rates, and lower death rates.

Morbidity Rates
• More than half (53%) of people with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008. More children (57%) than adults (51%) had an attack. 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007.
• Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007.


• The prevalence of asthma in different countries varies widely, but the disparity is narrowing due to rising prevalence in low and middle income countries and plateauing in high income countries.
• An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease.
• It is estimated that the number of people with asthma will grow by more than 100 million by 2025.
• Workplace conditions, such as exposure to fumes, gases or dust, are responsible for 11% of asthma cases worldwide.
• About 70% of asthmatics also have allergies.
• Approximately 250,000 people die prematurely each year from asthma. Almost all of these deaths are avoidable.
• Occupational asthma contributes significantly to the global burden of asthma, since the condition accounts for approximately 15% of asthma amongst adults.
1. World Health Organization. Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases: a comprehensive approach, 2007.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs, May 2011.
3. World Allergy Organization (WAO) White Book on Allergy, 2011.
4. National Hospital Discharge Survey, Mortality Component of the National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, 2011.
5. Trends in Asthma Prevalence, Health Care, and Mortality in the United States, 2001-2010, CDC, May 2012.
6. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012. Washington, DC: U.S.

Asthma Overview

Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs.

If you have asthma your airways are always inflamed. They become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten when something triggers your symptoms. This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness.

For many asthma sufferers, timing of these symptoms is closely related to physical activity. And, some otherwise healthy people can develop asthma symptoms only when exercising. This is called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), or exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Staying active is an important way to stay healthy, so asthma shouldn’t keep you on the sidelines. Your physician can develop a management plan to keep your symptoms under control before, during and after physicial activity.

People with a family history of allergies or asthma are more prone to developing asthma. Many people with asthma also have allergies. This is called allergic asthma.
Occupational asthma is caused by inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other potentially harmful substances while on the job.

Childhood asthma impacts millions of children and their families. In fact, the majority of children who develop asthma do so before the age of five.

There is no cure for asthma, but once it is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is in place you will be able to manage your condition, and your quality of life will improve.

An allergist / immunologist is the best qualified physician in diagnosing and treating asthma. With the help of your allergist, you can take control of your condition and participate in normal activities.

Common Asthma Meds May Raise Sleep Apnea Risk

Common Asthma Meds May Raise Sleep Apnea Risk, Study Says

Preliminary finding saw possible link between certain inhaler drugs and the sleep disorder, but more research needed

WebMD News from Health Day

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Reporter


FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Medicines commonly used to control asthma may increase the risk of a potentially serious sleep problem in some people, a small, early study suggests.

“Inhaled corticosteroids may predispose to sleep apnea in some asthma patients,” said study author Dr. Mihaela Teodorescu, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in Madison.

In sleep apnea, breathing periodically stops during sleep, for a few seconds or even minutes at a time, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The pauses can occur as often as 30 times or more in a single hour. In the most common type of apnea, the airway becomes blocked or collapses during sleep. If untreated, apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other problems.

However, the new study linking asthma medicines with an increased apnea risk was very small — including just 18 patients. And the researchers found a link, not cause and effect, and don’t yet know what that connection means.

An expert not involved in the study was skeptical of the findings, emphasizing that more work is needed.

The researchers monitored the men and women for changes in the “collapsibility” of their upper airways during sleep and their tongue function. Three patients had the amount of fat in their soft palates measured with MRIs, which found a redistribution of fat to the neck area, which can narrow the airway