Women & asthma: New survey reveals heavy toll on health, emotions and lifestyle

worry-free lives."

The survey reveals that asthma is indeed a significant source of fear and worry for women and those close to them. Nearly one in two women surveyed say that their asthma causes them to be anxious (48 percent) or frightened (48 percent) at times. A similar proportion (46 percent) report that at some point they have had an asthma attack so severe they felt their life was in danger; more than half (51 percent) say a friend or family member has thought their life was in danger.

Women more seriously affected than men

The new survey supports the findings of " Asthma in America," a landmark 1998 survey of more than 2,500 asthma patients.(2)

The 1998 survey found that women are more likely than men to have severe persistent asthma , have had a sudden severe attack in the past year, have had an urgent care visit for asthma in the past year and have activity limitations due to their asthma .

Need for greater patient education about asthma management The "Women and Asthma in America" survey also suggests that many women with asthma may not be adequately informed about their condition or the best ways to manage it.

One in three women surveyed (32 percent) believe that it is only possible to treat asthma symptoms, not their underlying causes. Without prompting, fewer than one in ten are able to name either of the two main causes of asthma symptoms: inflammation (swelling and irritation of the airways) and bronchoconstriction (tightening of the muscles around the airways).

In addition, many women appear to be overusing quick-relief medications to manage their asthma . Treatment guidelines say that using these medications more than twice a week may be a sign of poor asthma control, but the survey found that nearly one in three women (32 percent) use quick-relief medications daily.

Women also appear unsure about what their asthma medications do: many confuse the quick-relief medications (e.g.

Contact: Bob Brody
Ogilvy Public Relations

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