Sep 2, 2009 4:14 PM by Associated Press
One in three fatal asthma attacks worldwide involves a child with a mild form of the disease, and nearly half of all parents are unaware of the risk, according to a global survey.
The report said the findings exposed a critical information gap between doctors who treat asthma and parents of youngsters diagnosed with the condition.
"Many patients with asthma underestimate their disease severity and overestimate their degree of asthma control," the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology warned.
Dr. G. Walter Canonica of the University of Genoa in Italy said the survey underscored how effective treatment "is a shared responsibility requiring continuous communication among physicians and children with asthma and their parents."
Experts said that with each decade, the prevalence of asthma increased 50 percent. Worldwide, more than 300 million people are afflicted, the Global Initiative for Asthma says.
The World Health Organization said 255,000 people died from asthma in 2005 and that deaths are projected to rise by almost 20 percent in the next 10 years without urgent action.
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