Updated 25 January 2019

Who gets asthma?

Asthma is very common across the globe and is the most common chronic disease among children.

Asthma occurs in adults and usually starts in childhood.

Worldwide between 235 and 300 million people live with asthma and, every year, an estimated 250,000 die as a result of the condition.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most asthma-related deaths occur in low- and lower-middle income countries.

In South Africa, asthma occurs in 0.14% to 14.5% of children and 3.7% to 15% of adults, while the prevalence of asthma is 10% of the population.

Reviewed by independent healthcare consultant Prof Praneet Valodia and pulmonologist Prof Elvis Irusen, Head of the Division of Pulmonology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. October 2018.

Read more:

- Asthma symptoms

- What causes asthma?


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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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