AIR CURRENTS MARCH/APRIL 1983 Improving Communication About Respiratory Disease Vol. 4, No.

2 The American Asthma Report II Four years ago, Allen & Hanburys conducted a national survey on asthma and called it The American Asthma Report. It was the findings of this initial survey that highlighted the need for increased public and patient awareness about asthma and other respiratory conditions. As a result, the Allen & Hanburys Respiratory Institute (AHR) was formed, and The American Asthma Report became the cover story of the first Air Currents published by AHRI. Last year, a follow-up survey was conducted. The findings are now published in The American Asthma Report II and will be the topic of articles to appear in Air Currents throughout 1993. The survey was based on random telephone interviews with 1,200 adults in the general public and with 400 adult asthma patients from a geographically weighted sample. The 400 adult asthma patients were drawn from the data base for Air Currents. Survey Highlights Knowledge About Asthma The American Asthma Report II finding confirmed National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data revealing that approximately 5% of all American adults have asthma. Although 61% of American adults know someone with asthma, misconceptions about the disease are prevalent. According to the report, findings from the general public survey included the following: * 28% believe "asthma is an emotional or psychological illness." * 19% think "asthma patients need treatment only during an attack." * 18% feel "people with asthma are usually weak and frail." * 16% think "asthma is basically a children's disease." * 57% believe "asthma leads to more serious diseases like emphysema." * 51% think "people with asthma should avoid strenuous exercise." Asthma Symptoms and Triggers

Both the general public and asthma patient respondents were asked to rate 15 possible items that provoke or trigger asthma symptoms. Cigarette smoke:" topped the list for both groups with 81% of the public and 88% of the asthma patients citing it as a major cause in provoking or aggravating existing asthma conditions. "Air pollution" was cited as the second overall trigger, followed by "pollen," "respiratory colds," "chemicals," and "animal dander/hair." The next issue of Air Currents will feature a discussion of The American Asthma Report II and its findings on the top five warning signs of asthma and attitudes about asthma. Adapted from The American Asthma Report produced by Allen & Hanburys, Divisions of Glaxo Inc., 1992. Asthma Symptom Triggers and Aggravating Factors (Percent Citing as a "Major Cause") Cigarette smoke 81%/86% Air Pollution 79%/83% Pollen 74%/83% Respiratory Colds 67%/84% Chemicals 61%/73% Animal Dander/Hair 60%/76% Prolonged stress 47%/56% Emotional Upset 41%/48% Damp Air 31%/47% Cold Air 23%/56% High Attitudes 32%/28% Food Additives 18%/43% Exercise 18%/36% Dry Air 17%/17% Dairy Products 14%/26% General Public Asthma patients

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