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Young people getting worst asthma care in UK

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Young people are twice as likely to need care Young people are twice as likely to need emergency care for asthma

People aged 18-29 in the UK are more likely to be at high risk of having an asthma attack and the least likely to get life-saving basic asthma care than any other age group, according to a new report by Asthma UK.

The reality of asthma care in the UK: Annual Asthma Survey 2018 surveyed more than 10,000 people with asthma, finding that 67% of this group, those, are not getting basic asthma care, higher than any other age group. Additionally, young peoples are more likely to have uncontrolled asthma, putting them at a higher risk of an asthma attack.

‘Millennials are getting a raw deal, with the worst asthma care of any age group,’ said Dr Samantha Walker, Asthma UK’s Director of Research and Policy. ‘As a result, thousands needed emergency care for their asthma last year and were at risk of dying from an asthma attack. This could be avoided if they received the basic care they should be getting and if they were better engaged to manage their own health.’

Young people are twice as likely to need emergency care compared to those over 60 years old, while the National Review of Asthma Deaths found two thirds of asthma deaths would have been prevented if people had had basic asthma care. Furthermore, 28% of this group with asthma did not attend their asthma review, and 12% said that their GP surgery was too busy, so they were unable to book a review. More than half (57%) said they did not receive a reminder that their review was due.

‘Healthcare professionals need to make sure they are giving everyone with asthma guidelines-based basic care, and people with asthma of all ages should take responsibility for their own health by attending appointments and taking their medication as prescribed,’ added Dr Walker.

‘The NHS needs to embrace technology as a mainstay of asthma management to engage this young generation, such as piloting smart inhalers as promised in its long-term plan. It also needs to ensure that patients data and records are linked to ensure asthma attacks are recorded, managed and prevented so people who have had an asthma attack in hospital get appropriate follow-up care from their GP.’

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