Unless you have somebody in your family with asthma, you may be unaware of what a life-threatening disease it can be. Asthma doesn’t have the high-profile events of breast cancer or the leading-killer stats of heart and stroke disease, yet each year in Canada asthma affects about thee million people—one of the highest incidences in the world—and it kills 500 adults and 20 children, according to the Asthma Society of Canada. Worldwide, an estimated 300 million people have this chronic lung ailment distinguished by symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness and coughing.
To raise awareness and encourage Canadians diagnosed with asthma to get proper medical care, a National Asthma Patient Alliance website launches today—World Asthma Day. A grassroots patients’ group, NAPA is working on advocacy and educational efforts aimed at improving patient care and the quality of life for people with asthma.
For many asthma patients, daily control with anti-inflammatory medication is needed. Triggers such as stress, crying, yelling or laughing can provoke an asthma attack in some people. In Canada, asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism from school and the third leading cause of work loss. It’s estimated to cost our economy well over $600 million annually.
Has your family been affected by asthma?