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10.7M Filipinos suffering from asthma - study

MANILA, Philippines - About 10.7 million Filipinos are suffering from asthma, a study on the prevalence of asthma in 12 Asia Pacific countries said. This translates to about 12 percent of the entire Philippine population and a doctor is worried that four percent of the patients are not being given preventive medicine. The concern was aired by Dr. Teresita de Guia, one of the investigators of the study called Asthma Insights and Reality in the Asia Pacific Region (AIRIAP). She said that this would mean that only 963,000 asthmatics are using inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) a preventive medicine for the disease. In addition, only 23 percent of asthma patients are familiar with ICS, said the study. A total of 3,200 asthmatics from 12 Asia Pacific nations were surveyed in 2001 and 2006 to study the state of asthma management within the region. Four hundred of the respondents are from the Philippines. Of the total number of Filipinos with the illness, only 2 percent have controlled asthma while 49 percent have uncontrolled asthma. De Guia said uncontrolled asthma is brought about by patients’ choice of quick-relief bronchodilators over ICS or preventers. One factor that prevents patients from taking ICS according to her, is its price which costs about P900 and good for one month in daily doses. De Guia added that uncontrolled asthma affects patients’ productivity and movement because of “sudden" attacks. “The more sever you are, the more you have limitations," she said in a discussion Monday. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 300 million people around the world suffer from asthma with over 80 percent of deaths attributed to the disease occurring in low and lower-middle income countries. - GMANews.TV
Tags: asthma