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Half of asthma patients underestimate exacerbation risk

More than half of asthma patients did not consider themselves at risk of an asthma attack, despite many having at least one risk factor for an exacerbation, claims an asthma charity.

Asthma UK estimates over two million patients are at risk of an asthma attack without realising it in the UK, after they surveyed over 50,000 people with asthma on their risk factors.

They found 28,115 (52%) of respondents did not think they were at risk of an asthma attack, when 50,068 (93%) of them actually were at risk.

As there are just under 4.3 million adults with asthma in the UK, the survey’s findings suggest that there could be over two million people who are at risk of an asthma attack without realising it.

David Hiles, head of health promotion at Asthma UK, said: ‘Three people die from asthma every single day. We must act now to stop more people losing their lives.

‘It’s particularly vital that healthcare professionals are able to recognise who is at risk, support people to recognise risk factors and help those when they are having an asthma attack.’

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