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Number of asthmatic children in Chandigarh doubles in 10 years

The prevalence has increased from 2%-3% to 5%-6% in ten years.

punjab Updated: Sep 13, 2018 15:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
asthmatic children,Chandigarh,asthma
(Representative image )

The incidence of asthma among schoolchildren in Chandigarh has doubled in ten years, as per the ongoing Global Asthma Network Study. The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is one of the centres where 6,000 children in two age-groups of 6-7 years and 13-14 years were enrolled for the study.

The prevalence has increased from 2%-3% to 5%-6% in ten years.

The findings were shared by Dr Meenu Singh, Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGIMER, in a press meet held on Wednesday.

She said, “The study has recently been completed and we are in the process of compiling the findings since children in other centres in the country are also being surveyed. In Chandigarh, we have found prevalence rate is twice as compared to the past decade.”

She said “In PGIMER, we examine over 100 patients every week, whereas the number was less than 50 about 10 years ago.”

Talking about the reasons behind the rise in asthma cases among children, she said “A lot of construction activity is going on in the city and its periphery. Then there has been rise in food allergies, damp environment leading to fungal growth, genetics and obesity. There is one hypothesis, as per which Caesarean section deliveries also increase the risk of asthma among children.”

Dr SK Jindal, former head, Pulmonary department said, “Chandigarh has seen a 10% increase in the number of people suffering from asthma as compared to last year. Approximately, one-third of city residents will develop asthma at some time, mostly before the age of 20.”

“While the number of patients using inhalation therapy has increased in the last few years, an estimated 50% of asthmatics, mostly female patients and children,, discontinue inhaler use,” he said.

The reasons for the prevalence of asthma in Chandigarh include amongst others air pollution attributed to the uncontrolled increase in vehicles, allergies, increased consumption of tobacco, incorrect treatment in children, ignorance amongst parents, seasonal variations and weather fluctuations.

Dr Meenu Singh said, “Little or no adherence to the right treatment is a widespread issue amongst children in Chandigarh that is associated with poor health outcomes, resulting in unscheduled doctor visits and hospitalisation.”

She said that already three such studies have been conducted as part of the Global Asthma Network. This study is being conducted across the world in 120 countries.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 12:44 IST