The rate of asthma in children between the ages of 2 and 7 has fallen significantly in Canada – to 10 per cent from 13 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Dr. Allan Becker, a pediatric allergist in Winnipeg, told the CBC there are several factors that contribute to this drop.
For one, doctors are getting better at diagnosing asthma whereas before, other respiratory conditions were being falsely classified as asthma.
More importantly, children are no longer exposed to as much cigarette smoke as before. Children living in a household where their parents smoke tend to have a higher incidence of colds and respiratory infections which can cause viruses, leading to asthma. Becker also says that asthmatics are getting better at managing their asthma which in turn leads to fewer attacks.
However, while the drop is good news, 10 per cent is still a significant incidence rate within the population and asthma attacks remain the leading reason for children’s visits to emergency wards. Becker notes that the approximately 300 deaths that occur from asthma each year is proof that more needs to be done to understand and manage the disease. More .