Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poorest Areas in London Have Worst Cases of Asthma Attacks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poorest Areas in London Have Worst Cases of Asthma Attacks

Article excerpt

Byline: RossLydall Health Editor

CROYDON has been named the worst borough in London for asthma, as it was revealed that poorer areas have far higher hospital admission rates for asthma than richer ones.

Research by the charity Asthma UK said residents of Croydon were more likely than those anywhere else in the capital to require emergency admission to hospital during an attack.

According to the NHS statistics, there were 720 A&E admissions due to asthma in 2016/17, which equates to 188 for every 100,000 residents.

The borough also had the third highest figure in London for the number of deaths with asthma as an underlying cause -- 64 over the period 2007 to 2016.

The analysis revealed a divide between rich and poor boroughs, with less affluent areas such as Croydon, Brent, Newham and Barking and Dagenham all having far higher hospital admission rates.

Bromley, which neighbours Croydon, had the lowest hospital admission rate -- 71 per 100,000 residents -- and 35 deaths over the same decade.

A total of 1,261 Londoners died of an asthma-related condition in the period.

Croydon also has a poor rate of childhood flu vaccination. Only a third of toddlers receive the nasal spray, meaning those with asthma are at greater risk of contracting the virus.

Resident Karen Briscoe, 56, has been rushed to hospital several times. She said: "Where I live has definitely made my asthma worse. My kitchen has damp in it and I overlook a main road. The damp and the toxic air from the road trigger my asthma.

"My GP surgery is always so busy that I can wait up to three weeks for appointment, and I've never had a yearly asthma review, even though I know I should get one." She added: "It's very frightening when I'm struggling to breathe, and there are times where I think it might get so bad I might die. …

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