Sunday, November 6, 2011

How common is Asthma

Asthma is a very common problem all over the world. Some studies have indicated that asthma has increased by almost seven percent during the last three decades in most countries. India is no exception. An estimated ten percent of children in India have asthma.

The rapid increase in asthmatic cases is more common among children than adults, and occurs more in urban areas as compared to rural ones. Increased air pollution and upper respiratory tract infections are perhaps two most important reasons for increased asthma in India. Asthma is very common in cities like deli where air pollution levels are high.

Asthma can develop at any age, but about fifty percent of the people develop it before the age of ten years while about twenty-five percent develop it before the age of forty years. Asthma is twice as common in young boys as compared to young girls. By the age of thirty, it is equally common among men and women.

The progress of childhood asthma varies from person to person. In some children the symptoms worsen as they grow older whereas in some others the symptoms improve. Sometime, childhood asthma may disappear for several years but may recur in adult life. Asthma is more likely to be lifelong in children who continue to have the symptoms during puberty. Several studies worldwide have indicated that children with severe asthma are more likely to get severe asthmatic attacks in adult life too. Factors that increase the risk of childhood asthma continuing in adult life are listed below.

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