Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality 
Improve Your World Home | About Us | Sitemap | Search | Contact Us 



   Home >> Library index >> Asthma >> BREATHLESS IN MUMBAI

A recent report states that India ranks eighth in the list of countries suffering from asthma

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network

A recent report from the Global Initiative for Asthma, an alliance of health-care professionals, stated that 300 million people worldwide currently suffer from asthma. It also stated that the percentage of the world’s population living in urban cities is expected to increase from 45 to 59 per cent in 20 years, which could add 100 million more asthma sufferers by 2025. What’s more alarming is the fact that India ranks eighth in the list of countries with the most number of asthma patients. While pollution is just one of the many factors that aggravate the illness, experts consider it a primary factor, nonetheless. “There is no proof of a direct relation between asthma and pollution, but the fact that there are more asthma cases in urban cities than in villages proves the two are related,” says Dr Rohini Chowgule, Head of Department for pulmonary diseases, Bombay Hospital. According to Chowgule, suspended particles — which we inhale through dust, emissions from vehicles and road or building constructions — are what aggravate asthma and other pulmonary infections, including the common cough and cold. Dr G P Kasbekar, paediatrician, adds that inhalant allergens such as exposure to tobacco smoke and air pollution or dust also play an important role in the occurrence of childhood asthma.

    But it’s not just the number of asthma cases that are on the rise. As Dr Pramod Niphadkar, Honourary Secretary, Asthma and Bronchitis Association of India says, it’s the severity of the problem that is also a cause for concern. “An asthma patient’s Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) also gets affected. Their outdoor activities and job opportunities are restricted and today, the illness also acts as a hindrance for prospective marriage proposals,”says Dr Niphadkar.

    But it’s not all bleak. The world over, the medical fraternity is understanding the nuances of this illness better. “In India too, there has been a sufficient level of advancement. While previously medication could only control asthma, today, preventive techniques are also available.

    India is eighth on the list of countries with most number of asthma patients.

    15 percent of Indians between ages 5 and 11 have asthma

    Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease and the third-ranking cause of hospitalisation for children under 14.