LADIES: if you're over 65, take better control of your asthma management so you don't become a statistic.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that women in this age group are nearly three times more likely to die from asthma than men in the same age group.
In 2016, 455 asthma-related deaths were recorded in Australia - 312 females and 143 males. That figure was an increase of 34 on the previous year.
People aged 75 and over made up two-thirds of the deaths.
National Asthma Council Australia chair Jonathan Burdon said the rising toll was a concern, especially for older women with asthma.
"This could be due to a combination of lifestyle and contributing health factors," Dr Burdon said.
"To combat this phenomenon, it's imperative that women make sure their asthma is well managed and treated as they get older."
Research has found that nearly 40 per cent of people with asthma only use reliever medicines, and a quarter of them have been forced to seek last-minute treatment for a dangerous flare-up in their condition.
"People with asthma, particularly older women, need to focus on preventative treatments. Following an asthma action plan, which is reviewed each year, will help you stay well.
"If you experience worsening symptoms, it's important to take quick action to reduce the risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack."
Dr Burdon said innovations such as the National Asthma Council's new Asthma Buddy mobile website, will help. The mobile-only website is an easy-to-use and take-anywhere asthma management tool available at www.asthmabuddy.org.au
The National Asthma Council's action tips for women with asthma are:
- Don't ignore or dismiss breathing problems
- See your doctor for regular asthma check-ups
- Follow an up to date action plan
- Take your asthma treatment as prescribed
- Ask your pharmacist to show you exactly how to use your inhaler correctly
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist about other medicines you are taking
- Quit smoking and avoid other people's tobacco smoke
- Use Asthma Buddy to better manage your asthma
For more information on asthma and allergies, www.nationalasthma.org.au