The EFA have conducted a study to show the impact of asthma on patient lives. Results from the study were emphasised on World Asthma Day 2007.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects 30 million European citizens. The most severe cases can result in death if they are not carefully controlled.
The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Disease Patients Association (EFA) conducted a European study called ‘Fighting for Breath’. 1300 European patients with severe asthma, from 5 different countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden) have been studied to see the impact of asthma on their lives.
The quality of life for patients with severe asthma can be hampered by their disease symptoms. Patients often feel breathless, have blocked airways and a persistent cough. This leads to limited physical activity and frequent breathless attacks during the night.
The control of asthma management is currently insufficient. Each year,
250,000 asthma patients worldwide die from their disease. Unless urgent action is taken the number of asthma deaths worldwide will increase by 20% over the next 10 years.
The study shows that 3 out of 4 patients experience difficulties breathing and interrupted sleep at least once per week. This is very stressful for patients and can make them very anxious. Patients often fear that they are in danger of dying if they cannot receive the correct help. They lose confidence in carrying out everyday activities and rarely socialise in fear of suffering an attack.
It is very important that doctors provide the correct information to patients to ensure they continue treatment. 95% of patients could lead normal lives if their treatment is well conducted. The EFA study shows asthma patients the importance of taking medical advice and using new therapies if they want to improve their conditions.