Three quarters of asthma sufferers 'at risk of fatal attack'

A study has found that many sufferers mistakenly consider their condition to be under control Credit: PA

More than three quarters of British asthma sufferers are unaware that they may be at risk of a fatal attack, according to a new survey.

The study by Allergy UK found that 78% of asthma sufferers who think their asthma is mild or moderate use up to one reliever inhaler a week, when they shouldn’t need to use even one per month if their condition is well controlled, the charity said.

Nearly half of those who considered their condition mild or moderate and under control have been prescribed oral steroids in the past 12 months, which should only be necessary in an emergency or in the most severe asthma cases.

Alarmingly, 15% of those who considered their asthma mild or moderate have attended A&E in the last year for symptoms, but still class the disease as under control.

Four million Britons need asthma medication, and at least 200 people are hospitalised because of their asthma every day in the UK, a total of 73,000 annually, with more than 1,000 dying per year.

The survey of 464 asthma patients was funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK.