News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


UC researching issues facing asthma sufferers

UC researching issues facing more than 600,000 NZ asthma sufferers

May 13, 2013

New Zealand has one of the highest asthma prevalence rates among developed countries. About 130 New Zealanders die each year because of asthma attacks.

The Asthma Foundation of New Zealand says the direct medical cost to the country of treating asthma has been estimated at $125 million a year and, indirectly, $700 million a year. Maori and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately represented in asthma prevalence and severity statistics. Maori are four times more likely to die from asthma than non-Maori.

Today is the start of Asthma Awareness Week and the University of Canterbury (UC) has a team of researchers looking at some of the problems associated with asthma in New Zealand.

UC health sciences associate professor Kathleen Liberty says: ``We are not sure why New Zealand has the second highest prevalence of asthma in the world after the United Kingdom. Possible factors include diet, climate, immunisation rates, economic conditions, community health care standards, antibiotic use in early childhood and the timing and number of respiratory infections in early life.

``We know one in six New Zealand adults and one in four of children experience asthma symptoms, making a total of more than 600.000 sufferers. Hospital admission rates for asthma have more than doubled in the past 30 years.

``Our researchers at UC are especially looking at how asthma affects children in schools. One project found that children with asthma were far more likely than children without asthma to have difficulty learning to read in the first year of school.

``One hypothesis about how asthma might affect reading in young children concerned the effect that breath control might have on reading. This current project is studying the relationship between children's breathing and beginning reading, comparing children with and without asthma.

``The pilot study has indicated that, as reading becomes more difficult, the children with asthma find their breathing changes and they have to stop reading to catch their breath. These children stop reading at places where children who do not have breathing problems do not have to stop.

``This might be one reason that children with asthma may have difficulty reading. It is one more way that asthma affects children, and we are keen, through our research to hopefully find some helpful answers to this problem, as asthma can affect up to 25 percent of children,’’ Associate Professor Liberty says.

A UC study of New Zealand hospital admissions from 2000 to 2009 showed the Canterbury district health area had the highest number of asthma-related admissions follow by Waitemata, Auckland, south Canterbury, Northland, West Coast, Bay of Plenty, Counties-Manukau, Tairawhiti, Otago, Whanganui, Waikato, Wellington, Lakes, Southland, MidCentral (Palmerston North area), Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Nelson Marlborough.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>


Howard Davis: Review - The Cosmic Dance Of 'String Theory'

Fly My Pretties sixth album is quite possibly their best yet - a concept album in the best sense, with superb arrangements, funky grooves, and some great vocalizing, all organized around the lyrical leitmotif of string theory. More>>

Non-Natural History: Dinosaur Eggs 'Discovered' At Auckland Gardens

Auckland Botanic Gardens plant curators have unearthed what are thought to be prehistoric dinosaur eggs in the Gondwana Forest section of the expansive garden in Manurewa... In fact, the “dinosaur eggs” are part of an innovative, larger-than-life dinosaur performance and display featuring a raptor, a crested therapod and a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex. More>>

For The Birds: Kōkako Crowned Bird Of The Year

The Kōkako has been crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year after two weeks of close competition and heated campaigning. More>>

ALSO:

  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news