Media Releases

Asthma deaths increase in Queensland

22 Nov 2021

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released today show that asthma-related deaths increased in Queensland, especially for women aged over 75 years.

Figures commissioned by the National Asthma Council Australia show that there were 78 asthma-related deaths in Queensland in 2020, comprised of 59 females and 19 males. This is an increase from 2019 when there was 63 deaths (37 females and 26 males).

Those aged 75 and over accounted for 64 per cent of all asthma-related deaths in Queensland (50 of 78).

Nationally there were 417 asthma-related deaths recorded in 2020 made up of 274 females and 143 males.

Respiratory Physician and National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, Dr Jonathan Burdon AM, said that asthma is one of Australia’s most widespread chronic health conditions and asthma mortality rates are high by international comparison.

“It is concerning that the number of women dying from asthma has jumped from 37 last year to 59 in 2020 and women now account for three quarters (75 per cent) of all deaths from asthma in Queensland.

“Asthma remains a significant cause of ill health, disability and poor quality of life in Queensland and women aged over 75 are still the most at risk, with 68 per cent of all female asthma deaths coming from this age group.

“This is a time of life when there could be huge changes in living circumstances that could include losing a life partner, changes to routine after retirement, as well as the need to start taking other medications, so the focus on asthma risk can lessen,” he said.

Dr Burdon said that while there is currently no cure for asthma, good asthma control can prevent symptoms such as wheezing and breathlessness from occurring, or progressing into a severe flare-up that could end in death.

“Australia has one of the highest prevalence rates of asthma in the world with 2.7 million Australians (1 in 10) affected by asthma and it is crucial that people are aware of the risks.

“The National Asthma Council Australia is urging all Queenslanders with asthma to check in with your doctor to review your Written Asthma Action Plan, make sure you are using your inhaler properly and that you know what to do during a thunderstorm or asthma emergency,” he said.

Click here to link to 2020 mortality infographic

For further information or an interview with Dr Burdon please contact: Donna Le Page, Le Page PR Mobile: 0429 825 703 Email[email protected]

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