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Study reveals majority of asthma deaths preventable

Asthma costs the NHS a billion pounds a year. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

New figures have revealed that more than 350,000 people in the South West have asthma.

Today is World Asthma Day, and it's estimated the condition costs the NHS a billion pounds every year in treatment. This includes more than 3.7 million GP visits, and over 65,000 emergency admissions - three-quarters of which are preventable.

The first National Review of Asthma Deaths has found that two-thirds of asthma deaths could be prevented with better everyday care, and that half of patients have poor control of their condition - despite available treatments to help manage it.

Poorly controlled asthma means people take twice as many days off work as other asthma patients, and are more likely to need hospital treatment for attacks. The review recommends that those with the condition talk to their doctor if they have wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and/or shortness of breath.

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Smoking ban cuts asthma admissions

Researchers found a drop in asthma following the smoking ban Credit: ITV News West Country

A new study has revealed that almost 2,000 fewer patients are being admitted to hospital for emergency treatment for asthma since smokefree legislation was introduced in 2007.

Researchers based at Bath University found there was an immediate 4.9 per cent reduction in emergency hospital admissions for asthma in adults. It implies almost 1,900 admissions were prevented during the first year after legislation was introduced and a similar number in the subsequent two years.