Asthma cases in Hyderabad on the rise

Asthma cases in Hyderabad on the rise
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Highlights

Thanks to the growing number of vehicles in the city and unplanned activities in the name of development, the small children and adults are falling prey to ill-health. The city may well get the sobriquet “Asthma capital” very soon if corrective measures are not taken to arrest the disease.

Hyderabad: Thanks to the growing number of vehicles in the city and unplanned activities in the name of development, the small children and adults are falling prey to ill-health. The city may well get the sobriquet “Asthma capital” very soon if corrective measures are not taken to arrest the disease.

  • Recent studies indicate that cases are directly proportional to increase in vehicular traffic
  • Children are increasingly falling prey to the disease
  • The city may get sobriquet of ‘Asthma capital’ unless corrective measures are taken

According to recent studies, the rise in asthma cases in the city is directly proportional to vehicular traffic. The amount of toxic emissions and more microscopic particulate matter that is suspended in the air is growing by the day. No doubt that the asthma cases are increasing as 4,000 new cars and two-wheelers enter the roads every day.

The traffic movement during peak hours in Hyderabad is 12 km per hour which is one of the slowest in the country and the situation is only worsening by the day. The rise in pollution levels is only growing.

  • Out of every 100 patients who visit hospitals 10 per cent cases are related to asthma
  • 10 per cent of people are undiagnosed
  • Almost 80-90 per cent of the people who go in for spirometry pulmonary function test turn positive
  • 66 per cent of people with asthma suffer due to vehicular traffic
  • Children living within 100-500 metres from the main road are more prone to get asthma
  • Hospitals are witnessing more patients living close to the Musi River complain of asthma

Alarmingly, out of every 100 patients who visit hospitals 10 per cent cases are related to inflammatory conditions and tightness in chest. Dr Vyakarnam Nageshwar, chief allergist and national president of Allergy Asthma Network of Asthma says, “Out of 40 patients, who undergo the spirometry pulmonary function test that analyses the functional ability of the lungs, about 30 patients test positive for obstructive airway disease.”

Experts attribute to the rising number of asthma cases to the growing traffic snarls and developmental activity such as building of bridges, metro rail and rebuilding roads that leads to traffic jams. Dr Vishnun Rao Veerapaneni, specialist in asthma, child chest diseases, Swasa Hospital says, “We are getting a lot of patients, who live close to the Musi in the Old City. What is worrisome is that in the past people who were not affected by perfumes and agarbathi are now becoming sensitive towards these.”

He further adds, “We get anywhere between 30-50 patients daily and the number of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is increasing.” According to research 66 per cent of people with asthma suffer due to vehicular traffic.

In a recent study conducted by Chest Research Foundation found out that people living at a distance of 100-500 metres from the main road stand to be more prone to asthma and it is the children who are more susceptible.

In 2016, theukasthma.com conducted a study and the results show that in a majority of the cases it is the vehicular traffic that triggers asthma.

Dr Vyakarnam Nageshwar said the rise in people going in for reliever medicine itself is an indication of rise in asthmatic cases. If 10 per cent of the patients, who visit hospitals, are related to asthmatic there is another 10 per cent that are undiagnosed. The problem is these undiagnosed may end up on the emergency table.”

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