High rate of respiratory illness admissions in South Australia’s hospitals

A report recently published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed the rate of hospital admissions for patients with a respiratory illness in the south east of South Australia is among the highest in the country. Hospitalisation rates for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were higher in inland and rural areas of Australia in 2007-10.

Asthma hospitalisation rates were also higher in some of Queensland’s coastal areas, in the south-east corner of South Australia and in the southern part of Western Australia, while higher hospitalisation rates for those with COPD are seen in the Northern Territory and the north-west corner of Western Australia.

The Institute’s Nigel Harding says it’s not known exactly why admission rates are up to three times higher than average in some areas, but “we know remoteness has a contribution, also indigenous status.”

“Some of the reasons we know are a factor but haven’t had the opportunity to look into include smoking…there are pollution concerns, pollutions known to trigger asthma and allergic triggers as well.”

Read a summary of the report online, ‘Geographic distribution of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease hospitalisations in Australia: 2007-08 to 2009-10

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