National Asthma Day: hospitalizations reduce 51% in ten years
On June 21, besides being the first day of winter in Brazil, it is National Asthma Control Day. According to the Ministry of Health, Brazil presents advances in the care of asthmatic patients attended by the Unified Health System (SUS). The number of hospitalizations in the public health network has dropped by 51% in the last 10 years: it decreased from 397,333 in 2000 to 192,601 in 2010. The decrease is due, among other factors, to the expansion of access to medicines by SUS and to the activities of the professionals of the Family Health Strategy, focused on prevention and health promotion actions.
Asthma is a respiratory disease that has no cure, but if controlled, the asthmatic can have a normal life based on medicines anti-inflammatory drugs and bronchodilators, which are pharmacologically active substances - by promoting bronchial dilatation - and popularly known as "bombinhas". The cold and dry weather of this season is conducive to the spread of the disease, which can lead to respiratory attacks and increase the demand for emergency care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that approximately 150 million people in suffer from disease. Of this total, 60% are children. In this ranking, Brazil occupies the 8th place in the number of asthmatics, responsible for about 2.2 million visits to the pediatrician per year. The disease reaches 10% of the Brazilian population and is responsible for 400 thousand hospitalizations and 2 thousand deaths per year, according to the Brazilian Association of Allergy and Immunopathology (Asbai).
According to the pulmonologist Carlos Carvalho, there is an increase of about 30% in the number of cases attended at the Hospital at this time of year. "The dry weather, smoke particles, irritating gases, chemicals and potential allergens in the atmosphere aggravate asthmatic crises," he says.
He further explains that winter is a poor time for various types of respiratory problems, including asthma, especially when relative air humidity is below 40%. "In winter, there are several aggravating factors that increase asthma attacks. Avoiding exposure to cold, dry weather with low relative humidity helps reduce the incidence of asthma attacks during this time."
In addition to allergen , stress at work can increase the chances of developing asthma by as much as 40 percent, according to research by the University of Heidelberg in Germany. The researchers came to this conclusion through eight-year follow-up of more than 5,000 people between the ages of 40 and 65.
In a survey that has just been completed by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in the United States, doctors have found that folate consumption relieves the symptoms of respiratory allergies. And orange is a great source of this vitamin, which is also found in dark green leaves, carrots and cereals. Researchers also noted that skin allergies decrease with regular folate consumption.
In addition to the consumption of some fruits, physical exercise also helps fight asthma. A study carried out by the Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (USP), found that practicing physical activity reduces asthma symptoms by up to 60%.
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