Living with Asthma

Asthma and Life Expectancy

Asthma is a disease that affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone and more than 300 million people worldwide. Unless a patient has the peace of mind that comes with regular treatments, a successful medication protocol and a solid support system, he or she tends to experience fear and stress regarding this disease, and more than 250,000 people around the world die every year because of asthma.

One of the aspects of asthma that many who have it tend to look at is life expectancy as it relates to the rest of their surrounding population. Below is a brief overview of the issue, but the bottom line appears to be that if you do the right things, there is no reason to expect that you won't live a long, happy and healthy life.


Factors that Could Affect Life Expectancy

As most people understand, many asthma attacks can be deadly if they are not properly treated immediately. As such, most would think that anyone who contracts asthma should expect to live a shorter life on average. Generally, that has not proven to be the case, but there are factors that could lead to a shorter life expectancy if someone has asthma.

  1. Smoking – If someone with asthma smokes tobacco regularly, he or she should expect to live a shorter life. Anyone who smokes should have that expectation, but this is particularly dangerous if you have asthma.
  2. Presence of irritants – If you live and/or work in an environment where known irritants and/or asthma attack triggers are present, you will likely suffer a high number of attacks during the course of your life. Asthma attacks can have a cumulative effect on a patient, in that over time, lung tissues can break down and ultimately fail. This could happen at a faster rate if a person endures a large number of asthma attacks.
  3. Lifestyle – If you are generally active, eat a healthy diet and stay away from substances such as recreational drugs, there is no reason to expect to live a shorter life. However, if you are overweight, consume a lot of fat in your diet and use drugs, you will likely struggle later in life for obvious reasons.

Life Expectancy without Factors

On the positive side, if you live a lifestyle that allows you to avoid the factors listed above and continue to be diligent in your treatment and management of the disease, you should expect your life to last as long as it would have even without asthma. If you'd like to learn how you can make sure you're doing everything you can to maximize your own life expectancy, contact your doctor and ask how to get started.