In Canada, asthma rates have increased four-fold over the last 20 years. Although asthma-related deaths have decreased slightly, asthma still causes approximately 7 deaths each week, despite advances in what we know about the condition and the availability of effective medications.
Over 2 million Canadians have asthma and each year this condition contributes to approximately 350 deaths. But with knowledge and proper management, most of these deaths could have been prevented.
Although asthma can develop at any age, it is more common among children. Approximately 12% of children and 8% of adults have asthma. Asthma is one of the leading reasons for school and work absenteeism and for hospital admissions among children.
Health Canada's National Population Health Survey (NPHS) revealed that, in a 12-month period, an astonishing 56% of people with asthma had had an asthma attack. This high rate of incidence means Canadians need to know how to better manage their asthma and keep it under control. This includes having an asthma action plan and knowing how to use it.
If you're one of the millions of Canadians with asthma, you can still live free of symptoms. Knowledge is the key. The more you know about your asthma, the more you know about what you can do to keep it under control. Learning what triggers your asthma, how to properly use your asthma medications as prescribed, and establishing an asthma action plan with your doctor are all essential in achieving asthma control.