Asthma prevalence, morbidity and management practices in South Australia, 1992-1995

R. Adams, R Ruffin, M Wakefield, D Campbell, B Smith

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Spring South Australian Health Omnibus Survey (SSAHOS) has been used to monitor trends in asthma prevalence, asthma morbidity and asthma management practices between 1992 and 1995. Aims: To determine if self‐reported asthma prevalence and availability of asthma action plans were increasing. To identify deficiencies in asthma management and opportunities for intervention. Methods: Representative population survey by trained interviewers using a multistage, systematic, clustered area sample of 4200 households in South Australia where people aged 15 years or more are living. Results: Over 3000 interviews were conducted each year. Between 1992 and 1995 the self‐reported prevalence of asthma in those aged 15 years or more increased significantly from 15.7% to 20.3% (p<0.0005), and the prevalence of current asthma increased from 9.3% to 11.4% (p<0.05). The self‐reported availability of individual asthma action plans increased from 21.9% in 1992 to 42.2% in 1995 p<0.0005). In 1992, 21% had a nebuliser at home, and 10.5% had a peak flow meter. In 1993, 61.4% were using preventive medications, and 35% thought bronchodilators were ‘;preventer’ medications. In 1994 and 1995, between 12.5% and 15.6% had nocturnal awakening weekly or more often, and 31.4% had morning asthma symptoms weekly or more often. Between 20.1% and 20.8% had lost days from usual activities during the last year. Those on incomes below $20,000 had more symptoms, had more admissions to hospital, and required more medication than those on higher incomes. Conclusions: Self‐reported asthma prevalence has increased. There remains a gap between current asthma management and that recommended by the National Asthma Campaign.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-679
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • The Spring South Australian Health Omnibus Survey (SSAHOS)
  • asthma prevalence
  • The National Asthma Campaign (NAC)


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