UK: First Asthma Census Highlights Lack Of Control Of Condition

An Asthma UK census has revealed that only 4% of those people questioned have their asthma under control.

The shocking results follow Asthma UK's first ever asthma control census which was launched on World Asthma Day in May this year. It aimed to raise awareness amongst the 4.1 million adults with asthma in the UK that they may be putting up with symptoms that impact unnecessarily on their quality of life.

The Asthma Control Test, a 60-second, five-point questionnaire was completed online by over 16,000 people. The test which gives a score out of 25, helps to identify the level of asthma control.

Results also highlighted that more than a third of people experienced shortness of breath on a daily basis and for 1 in 4, using their reliever inhaler more than three times a day was a regular occurrence. This is a clear indication that their asthma is not under control as asthma management guidelines state that a person's asthma is not well managed if they use their reliever inhaler more than three times a week.

The census further revealed that as a person got older, their asthma worsened. For those that completed the test, scores decreased for the older age groups and showed that for many, being woken at night or earlier in the morning with asthma symptoms such as coughing or wheezing, was a regular occurrence.

Professor Martyn Partridge, Chief Medical Advisor at Asthma UK said: 'The results of this census highlight that a high proportion of people in the UK are putting up with unnecessary symptoms on a daily basis. They could be getting a better night's sleep, going about their everyday life without thinking about their asthma and using their reliever inhaler far less. With simple and safe medication, their asthma could be under control. I would advise making an appointment to see your GP or asthma nurse so that they can have an asthma review. The ultimate aim should be that you control your asthma, and not that it controls you.'