Mon, May 06, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Nation not taking asthma, allergies seriously: group

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

More than 20 percent of Taipei first-graders suffer from asthma and 50 percent of them have allergic rhinitis, the Taiwan Association of Asthma Education said yesterday.

Ahead of World Asthma Day tomorrow, the association and the Taipei City Government Department of Health held a fair yesterday to promote asthma and allergy prevention.

Association chairwoman Huang Li-hsin (黃立心) said a recent survey conducted by the group found that while about 50 percent of Taiwanese experience allergy symptoms, 60 percent of those polled believe they are not allergic to anything.

“According to surveys done over the past three years by the city government, about 50 percent of the first-graders in Taipei have allergic rhinitis, 20 percent have asthma and nearly 10 percent suffer from atopic dermatitis,” Huang said.

However, a Bureau of Health Promotion official said that a more disconcerting phenomenon is that, according to statistics compiled by the bureau, of the children under the age of 12 who were been diagnosed with asthma in 2009, 72.4 percent have failed to visit doctors regularly in the past year.

“This has resulted in 15 percent of these asthma patients going to emergency rooms at least once because of acute asthma attacks,” Huang said.

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