|LONDON - Asthma rates among young British teenagers are the highest in the world, with over a third of 13-14 year olds suffering from the illness, the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday.|
The paper, quoting a report by the Global Initiative for Asthma, said more than 10 million people in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands had the illness.
The condition is responsible for around 1,500 deaths in Britain and Ireland and 75,000 emergency hospital admissions each year, the report said, placing a heavy burden on the British health service.
\"These new figures highlight the seriousness of asthma in the UK, and in particular childhood asthma, yet there is a severe lack of government-funded research,\" Professor Martyn Partridge, chief medical adviser to the National Asthma Campaign said.
\"We must find out what is switching on asthma in more susceptible individuals now, compared with 30 years ago.\"
British children were up to three times more likely to have asthma than children in France, Germany or Italy, it said.
The report did not make clear the reason behind the rapid rise but said researchers were looking at factors such as the environment, diet and genetics.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE