To help us understand who is most at risk of dying from asthma, each year we ask the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to provide us with detailed statistics about asthma-related deaths. While there was plenty of of positive signs in this year's report– including a continuing downward trend in overall asthma deaths – the demonstrated risk to older women is instructive to Australia's asthma community.
Dr Jonathan Burdon AM, Chair of the National Asthma Council Australia and respiratory physician, said that although up to one in seven older Australians have asthma, about half of all people with asthma aged 75 years and over have not been diagnosed by a doctor.
“Contrary to popular belief, people can get asthma for the first time later in their lives. Without proper attention and management, new-onset asthma can be as deadly as long-standing asthma in adults if ignored. It is essential that those who experience asthma signs and symptoms take action, and not dismiss or confuse them as simply due to ‘old age’.”
Severe asthma learning module to be launched at GPCE Sydney
We're excited to be launching our new online learning module Troubleshooting difficult asthma in adults with a series of seminars at GPCE Sydney this weekend.
Hosted by ThinkGP, the new module has a particular focus on patients with difficult-to-control symptoms; due to the nature of the asthma itself, co-morbidities, the choice of medication and delivery, or difficulties with adherence. It was primarily created for GPs and practice nurses, but all clinicians who see patients with asthma will find it useful. There is no cost to completing the module and both GPs and practice nurses can earn CPD points for completion.
If you're attending GPCE Sydney this weekend, please come and see us at one of our seminars to find out more.
AirSupply asthma control study findings – we have the tools to help
The groundbreaking AirSupply study, the first nationally representative study on asthma control in Australia, has gained some well-deserved media attention during May, but revealed Australia's asthma community has work to do to improve asthma control and adherence across the country.
As the author of the Australian Asthma Handbook, the national guidelines for the treatment of asthma, the National Asthma Council plays a central role in addressing concerns raised by the study. Since the survey in 2012, we have seen one full and one minor update to the guidelines as well as the launch of My Asthma Guide, the guidelines interpreted for asthma patients and their families.
Following the National Asthma Strategy Advisory Group's development of the draft outline during March and April, the Connecting Asthma Care conference in Brisbane allowed us to convene a Stakeholder Roundtable involving more than 40 people representing a range of organisations from across the health and respiratory spheres.
It was a very positive day, and we are grateful to all those who participated so openly and constructively in the discussions.