Living with Asthma

Asthma around the World

Asthma's prevalence is on the rise in the United States, and has been for almost 30 years. Since 1980, the number of people with asthma in the country has doubled to more than 20 million, and more than 6 million children fight this disease every day. While this may come as a surprise to many, this growth trend is quite consistent with the rest of the world, as you'll see below.

As a result of this rise in asthma's prevalence around the world, organizations have begun to pool their efforts and resources in moving towards a collective goal of one day eradicating this disease all while providing as much help as possible to those who already have it. A united front is the best way to fight any common enemy, and more help is needed to continue to learn more about asthma.


The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)

GINA was formed in 1989 as a group effort between the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to raise awareness regarding asthma around the world and to streamline and organize efforts designed to fight it.

This effort between these entities has also already provided a more streamlined flow of information that's important to anyone in the world who's concerned about asthma. For instance, it's now known that more than 300 million people around the world suffer from this disease, and it's responsible for more than 250,000 deaths every year.

Additionally, these numbers should be taken with a bit of skepticism, since asthma is likely not diagnosed in many people who live in less developed parts of the world.

Finally, these groups have also come together to form a worldwide event that's meant to shine a bright light on a disease that's reached worldwide epidemic proportions. Every May, World Asthma Day is held in countries all over the world, and millions of people from across the globe take part in activities that are mostly local in nature. The event has proven to be largely successful, but GINA will always need more help, more awareness and more funding to continue to fight this disease.

As one would expect, most of the asthma cases around the world occur in countries that range from the middle to the lower tiers on the world economic scale. However, with more awareness and more learning, these statistics can be curtailed. The first step is cooperation, and GINA is an important first step towards that goal.