National Asthma Council Australia welcomes drop in asthma deaths
October 21, 2019
National Asthma Council Australia has released a media statement welcoming the drop in asthma deaths but warn against complacency.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals a significant decrease in asthma-related deaths in Australian women, however concern continues as the number of deaths remains high and the death toll for men stagnates.
Figures show there were 389 asthma-related deaths recorded in Australia in 2018, comprising 250 females and 139 males, which signifies a decrease from 441 in 2017, and 457 in 2016. Those aged 75 and over continue to account for nearly two-thirds of deaths (241 of 389), while deaths in children remain uncommon but can still occur – 7 children lost their lives to asthma in 2018.
National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) Chief Executive, Siobhan Brophy says while adult women are consistently at the highest risk of dying from asthma, the significant drop in deaths from 281 to 234 could be attributed to several mitigating factors.
‘We believe that increased patient awareness following the epidemic thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne in 2016 has played a large role in this reduction,’ says Ms Brophy. ‘The development of new ways to manage severe asthma is also having an impact – biological agents are improving patient lives, while increased management and review protocols surrounding their potential prescription are providing greater opportunities to optimise patient care.’