Asthma in France What Asthma is?

Asthma is a breathing problem caused by nerves in the thoracic region connected with the trachea and lungs. Once the nerves are pinched, our body becomes more susceptible to acquire any type of things in the environment. An asthmatic person is treated with strong medicines which cause them a lot of side effects. This type of disease has several symptoms that can change from person to person. It could be in a specific time like when people are doing exercise or it could be in a permanent state. As general symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing causing trouble sleeping. These coughing or wheezing attacks are worsened when a respiratory virus appears like a cold or the flu. Besides, people produce a whistling sound when they are exhaling being this an also a common problem if they are children.  As specific or more advanced symptoms are that the general symptoms are more frequent and the breathing process becomes more difficult to do causing that a quick-relief inhaler needs to be used more often ( pharmacie garde ).

  Historical Data

Exist more than 350 million asthmatics around the world, which just 25 million are located in Europe according to the organization called World Health (WHO). If we talk specifically about France, around 3.5 million people suffer from this which includes a third of children. Statically, Asthma  affected 6 to 7% of adults, another 15% of young adults between 20 to 25 years and a 9% of school children.

Around the years

In France, Asthma mortality found that asthma caused around more than 2000 deaths in 1999; in other words, 250,000 deaths per year. These deaths could be preventable with an early diagnostic where the patients can take care through therapeutic education. However, in the last decades, this disease has strongly decreased. Around 2000, this mortality decreased with a more progressive decrease in females than males. Also, asthma has decreased for adults, but it has risen for younger children. For France, Asthma is an so important public health issue given its frequency, intensity, morbidity, and mortality. This was the main cause that this becomes a public health priority in the public health law on 9 August 2004. The main objective was to reduce up to 20% the frequency of this issue attacks which required hospitalization from 2004 to 2008.

 Main Symptoms

 Any French asthmatic suffers from wheezing with breathlessness, wheezing from colds, chest tightness, shortness of breath attacks, and coughing which can occur more often on overnight. This disease can be caused due to a hereditary aspect, some internal factors like hormonal, digestive or even physiological and due to external factors such as air pollution, smoking or viruses, among others. Also, asthma differs between places, it is most common on Grenoble than in Montpellier and Paris and nasal allergies are more often in Montpellier.


 This disease can change from age to age. It can affect children, younger and older people. In children less than 5 years of age, symptoms are variable and non-specific. Childhood asthma has been more prevalent in the Western than the Easter Europe; in case of France, from 9 to 10% is an estimated current asthma among children. Mortality of this disease is low and it has decreased over recent years in most European countries. Also, morbidity is a main burden for the child, his/her community and even family causing disruption of life reducing physical ability. Some causes that strongly impacted on children’s asthma are air pollution exposure, meteorological conditions,  and viral infections. Pollutants have direct impact causing irritant and inflammatory effect. Therefore, it creates an increase in emergency room visits creating a control and treatment remain no sufficient. It needs urgent to improve asthmatic therapeutic and educational management. Teenagers around 16 or over; let’s take an example of a group of 4 teenagers. One is a smoker, another one is a former smoker and the other two have never smoked. Sometimes, a teenager can become asthmatic due to low incomes and single-parent families. The family environment is the most important cause of having an uncontrolled asthmatic teenager. To prevent these complications, asthma should be controlled with professional health improving the care of these patients.

On the other hand, there is not any relationship between asthma and sex because it is generally similar from 6 to 7% adults among men and women. The prevalence of asthma is more for people aged 60 or over being higher when they are obese. If we compared asthmatics of normal weight or under with overweight, overweight has a higher risk of having uncontrolled asthma. Longevity is increasing in France and this disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality for old age. At this age, the risk factors for this disease are not clearly identified, but this is associated with age, sex, smoking history, or the lifetime.

Real Characters

There are a bunch of examples of this type of disease. For instance, on 8 June 2017, a Frenchwoman, 50-year-old, suffered from this disease due to she did not protect from air pollution in Paris. It caused to her a serious cardiac problem. Her life was disrupted by this medical problem and she had an ongoing treatment that could get a change of having cancer.  Finally, she said that this type of cases are invisible and she stated that the authorities should take full responsibility for this problem.

How to treat it

Asthma treatment has the goal to reduce or eliminate the previous symptoms with a complete medication and education plans combined with daily treatment, a needed-treatment, and therapeutic education. Also, due to there is an available and so effective medication ( geoallo medecin de garde ), there are still cases of non controlled to this disease. Although asthma could be controlled, there is no proven method of prevention or cure. Depends on the level of control of symptoms, different classes of medications are applied, the presence of a type of control raises the question of the medications that should be taken are or not adequate.

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