Australian Bureau of Statistics
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003
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The management of asthma is an important public health issue because of the personal burden it places on those with asthma, often with onset in childhood, and the financial burden it places on the health system. In 1996, asthma was estimated to be responsible for 2.6% of the total burden of disease in Australia (AIHW 2000a).
According to the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) survey, asthma is the fifth most frequently managed problem by general practitioners, accounting for 3.2 of every 100 encounters (2.2% of all problems managed) (AIHW 1999). Asthma is also one of the top six reasons for doctors referring patients to hospital. During 1999-2000, asthma was the principal diagnosis in 47,008 hospital separations (0.8% of all hospital separations), with an average stay of 2.7 days.
Asthma was identified as the underlying cause of 0.3% of deaths registered in Australia in 2000, when 169 males and 285 females died from the disease. The most recent peak in asthma deaths occurred in 1989, and standardised death rates for asthma have been declining since then (graph 9.22). Most asthma deaths occur in older age groups.
This page last updated 23 January 2006
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