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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 05:30 GMT 06:30 UK
Asthma sufferers urged to see GP
Asthma sufferer
Most asthma sufferers do not discuss attacks with GPs
More than 40,000 people in Scotland suffer an asthma attack almost every day, a new report has claimed.

The research, published by Asthma UK, also estimates that 80,000 others suffer an attack at least once a week.

About 57% of sufferers never or only occasionally discussed these attacks with their GPs, the report said.

The charity said people with asthma should have regular asthma reviews with their GP and should not suffer in silence with unnecessary symptoms.

Asthma sufferers

Scotland has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, the organisation warned.

The charity estimates that 400,000 Scots suffer with the illness.

The survey was conducted in May 2004 and involved 1,400 asthma sufferers across the UK.

It estimated that more than 40,000 people in Scotland suffered about 25 asthma attacks in the previous 28 days.

Marjory Burns, executive director of Asthma UK Scotland, said: "This survey highlights the shocking state of affairs that people are still suffering in silence.

"We found that 75% of people with mild to moderate asthma in the UK - more than 3.5 million people - still suffer debilitating symptoms that regularly restrict their daily activities when they should be living virtually symptom free.

It is very important that people with asthma have regular asthma reviews with their GP or practice nurse.
Dr Ron Neville

"Sadly, people with asthma expect their condition to compromise the way they live their lives, yet, with the correct treatment and management, this simply should not be the case."

Ms Burns called on healthcare professionals to implement the British Guideline on Asthma Management to ensure that every person with mild to moderate asthma can live without "unnecessary symptoms".

Dr Ron Neville, chief medical adviser to Asthma UK Scotland, said: "It is very important that people with asthma have regular asthma reviews with their GP or practice nurse - no matter how busy they are - to discuss how asthma is affecting their life.

"They should work with them to devise a personal asthma action plan so that they can achieve greater control of their condition and ensure that they are not restricted by unnecessary symptoms."

The charity is also calling for the government to help improve provisions for asthma care in the new GP contract, provide incentives for reviews and ensure sufferers have access to suitably trained medical staff.

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