April SciBar: The Air We Breathe: experience investigating occupational and environmental causes of “asthma”

Monday 8 April 2019

Asthma is the most common respiratory disease in the UK outnumbering all other lung diseases combined. More than 8 million people have been diagnosed with asthma and currently more than 5 million people are on treatment. The incidence in all age groups is about 160,000 new cases each year. Whilst there is a broad spectrum of severity, those with the condition know how distressing an attack can be, and at its worst asthma can prove fatal; about 1200 patients die each year.

At least one in every ten new cases of adult onset asthma has been caused by exposure to an agent in the workplace. The repercussions of occupational asthma for those affected can be disastrous, affecting not only their health, but with social, psychological, and financial impact on quality of life. In order to offer those affected the best chance of a positive outcome it is important to make an accurate diagnosis at an early stage. For some cases the diagnostic process can be straightforward, but other cases might require the use of specialised facilities that are only available in a few centres across the country.

A wide variety of agents are recognised as causing occupational asthma, many of which will be familiar to us. New cases continue to be reported, expanding the number of causes. Research continues into the mechanisms of causation and factors that might make individuals more susceptible to the disease. These studies have contributed to our wider understanding of asthma in general and conditions that might mimic asthma, leading to improvements in treatment.

Our speaker is Dr Bernie Graneek, formerly of Royal Brompton Hospital

Begins 6.30pm prompt at the Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington. All welcome, no charge. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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