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

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news