The prevalence of asthma in Australian society has steadily increased over the last 10 years, a survey has found. The situation is actually worse in women and elderly.
A South Australian survey conducted between 1990 and 2003 found that the rate of "doctor-diagnosed asthma" in women increased from 7.3 percent in 1990 to 14.6 percent in 2003. There was a 137 percent increase in asthma rates in people aged 55 and above.
Overall the prevalence rate rose to 7.5 percent to 12.2 percent in the 14 years. Men registered an increase of 21 percent. "The association between asthma and obesity ... suggests that the increase in asthma may be at least partly a result of the increased prevalence of obesity," said lead researcher David Wilson, of Adelaide University. "Obesity dominated as a predictor in every age and sex group, and, although we cannot conclude a causal relationship ... the consistency of the associations increases its likelihood." The report is published in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA).