2014 Asthma Information

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1 2014 Asthma Information This document contains: Asthma facts and figures Table with estimated children under 15 years old who take asthma medication by region Table showing total asthma admissions and ranking by DHB for 2011 Answers to common questions about asthma References Asthma Facts and Figures New Zealand has some of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the world. 1 Over 500,000 New Zealanders take asthma medication One in seven children (14%) takes medication for asthma. This represents an estimated 107,000 children (aged 2 14 years) living with asthma. 2 One in nine adults (11%) had been diagnosed with asthma and were taking medication for this condition. This is about 389,000 adults. 7 People die from asthma 79 deaths in 2006, 61 in 2007 and 65 in In New Zealand it costs about $1,200 per day to treat a child in hospital for asthma. 4 $800,000,000 is the conservative estimate of the annual economic burden of asthma. 1 In 2011 asthma was responsible for 8,000 hospitalisations and 2,800 day cases. 3,000 hospitalisations (or 37.5 percent) were for children under five years old. 10 Children of the one in seven children who take medication for asthma : Māori children were 1.5 times as likely to take medication as non- Māori children (approximately 22% of Māori boys and 16% of Māori girls). 2 Children living in the most deprived areas were more likely to take medication (15%) than children living in the least deprived areas (10%). 2 The prevalence of asthma is similar for Māori and non- Māori children. However, Māori children with asthma tend to have more severe symptoms, require hospitalisation for asthma almost twice as often as non- Māori children, and require more time off school because of asthma. 3 Adults of the one in nine adults who take medication for asthma : Women were more likely to be taking medication (13%) than men (9%). 7 Asthma rates were higher for Māori men and women than for other adults. One in five Māori women (20%) were taking medication for asthma, as were 13% of Māori men. 7 Women living in the most deprived areas were more likely to be taking medication for asthma (16%) than women in the least deprived areas (10%). 7 Worldwide Asthma affects approximately 235 million people worldwide and the prevalence is rising. 6 Asthma causes an estimated 250,000 deaths worldwide annually. 6 1

2 Table with estimated number of children under 15 years old who take asthma medication in each region This is derived using 2006 census population data and that one in seven children takes asthma medication (numbers rounded to nearest hundred). Region Northland Total children <15 years old 35,200 Estimated children <15 years old with asthma Auckland 288,400 72,100 Waikato 88,800 22,200 BOP 60,000 Gisborne 11,600 2,900 Taranaki 22,800 5,700 Hawke s Bay 34,400 8,600 Manawatu- Wanganui 48,800 12,200 Wellington 92,800 23,200 Tasman 10,000 2,500 Nelson 8,400 2,100 Marlborough 8,000 2,000 Canterbury 103,200 25,800 West Coast 6,400 1,600 Otago 34,800 8,700 Southland TOTAL 19,200 1,184,800 2

3 Total asthma admissions in 2011 Data from University of Otago review of admission information (provided on 1 Jan 2013) District Health Board Total admissions Rate per 100,000 Pop n Auckland Bay of Plenty (Tauranga) Ranking (1= highest rate of admissions) Canterbury (Christchurch) Capital and Coast (Wellington) Counties Manukau Hawke s Bay (Wairoa/Hawke s Bay) Hutt Valley Lakes (Rotorua/Taupo) Mid Central (Palmerston Nth) Nelson Marlborough Northland (Whangarei/Dargaville/Kawakawa/Kaitaia) South Canterbury (Timaru) Southern (Southland/Otago) Tairawhiti (Gisborne) Taranaki (New Plymouth) Waikato (Hamilton) Wairarapa (Masterton) Waitemata (North Shore/Waitakere) West Coast (Greymouth) Whanganui (Wanganui) Total

4 Answers to some common questions about asthma What are some of the common misconceptions around asthma? That asthma is a mild disease many people have mild asthma but for some people it can be a severe and life- threatening disease. Even people with minor symptoms can have severe asthma attacks and they can start very suddenly. The good news is that asthma symptoms and control can almost always be improved with the right treatment. That people do not die from asthma At least 52 people die every year from asthma with 79 deaths in 2006, 61 in 2007 and 65 in That people with asthma cannot exercise although exercise can sometimes bring on asthma symptoms, it is important not to avoid exercise. People with asthma need to keep fit just as much as anyone else. If you have asthma symptoms when you exercise, it is a sign that your asthma is not under control and you should discuss this with your doctor. With better treatment you will be able to exercise without symptoms. It is worth knowing that many elite athletes have asthma so there is no reason to let your asthma stop you from being fit. What does the Asthma Foundation want everyone to know about this disease? To reduce respiratory disease the Asthma Foundation is urging the Government to make it a health priority. The connection between poverty and respiratory disease is well established. Poverty affects respiratory health in many ways with overcrowding and cold, damp houses known to cause respiratory illnesses and admissions to hospital. Poor access to health care can often prevent these illnesses from being treated adequately. Tackling these social determinants will improve the health of New Zealanders with a respiratory condition. The majority of asthma attacks and hospital admissions could be prevented using existing treatments. Statistics from Waikato District Health Board for 2006 show that 97 percent of hospital admissions for asthma are avoidable. 10 Asthma and lower respiratory tract infections are the leading reason for children under five years old in New Zealand being admitted to hospital. Asthma is very common in New Zealand. We are not sure why this is and we do not yet know how we can prevent asthma from developing in the first place. However, we do know that asthma can be controlled more effectively than it often is. We are asking New Zealanders to join us to help keep our kids out of hospital. 4

5 What advice does the Asthma Foundation give to people with asthma to gain better control? Get an action plan the action plan tells you the recommended treatment for your child's asthma. More importantly, it tells you how to recognise when their asthma is deteriorating and what to do about it. The plan is individualised to suit each child s needs. We know that these plans can help people to manage their asthma more effectively, resulting in better health, fewer days of work or school, fewer admissions to hospital and hopefully fewer tragedies. The plan is filled out by the parent/s, the child and a health professional, and can be downloaded at Visit your asthma team regularly it is important to build a relationship with your GP, practice nurse, asthma educator and pharmacist. Take your asthma medication as prescribed it is important you understand how your inhalers work and how to use them. Be smokefree. References 1. The Burden of Asthma in New Zealand by Shaun Holt and Professor Richard Beasley. 2. Statistics from Ministry of Health Report: The Health of New Zealand Children 2011/12 3. Trying to Catch Our Breath The burden of preventable breathing diseases in children and young people. The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand. Edited by Innes Asher and Cass Byrnes. 4. Cost estimate per night of care by DHB with Asthma (J45 J46) defined as primary diagnosis. Ministry of Health figure produced on 6 March Beginning School With Asthma Independently Predicts Low Achievement in a Prospective Cohort of Children. Kathleen A. Liberty, Philip Pattemore, James Reid and Michael Tarren- Sweeney. Chest 2010; 138, ; Pre- published online June 17, 2010; DOI /chest The Global Asthma Report Paris, France: The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Statistics from Ministry of Health Report: The Health of New Zealand Adults 2011/12 8. Asthma as cause of death, by age and sex, total population, 2006, 2007, 2008 Ministry of Health Mortality Data. 9. Waikato DHB Website University of Otago Statistics,

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