In Puerto Rico, asthma prevalence has significantly increased in the past years, reaching 19% in 2006, 7% higher than in the United Status. Pediatric asthma has a prevalence of 33%, which means that 1 of every 3 children suffer this disease.
Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs. Periodically it causes wheezing, lack of air, chest pressure and cough during the night or early in the morning.
The Department of health in Puerto Rico considers the condition a “serious public health problem” given both its increasing prevalence and the high mortality rates: an average of 160 deaths a year.
Most of the asthma-related deaths occur in people 55 years or older and highest prevalence occurs in young people 18 to 24 years old. “This is the second most prevalent condition, the first cause of hospitalization and the fourth cause of physician consults”, said Wanda Hernandez, spokeswoman for the Department of Health.
The Department of Health will have an activity on May 1st, 2007, at the American Military Academy in Guaynabo, celebrating World Asthma Day.