Source: The Mercury, Thursday, December 1, 1994, p.8
REDUCING the risk of asthma through the early detection of allergies will be a key focus of a new national strategy to combat the deadly disease. Federal Health Minister Carmen Lawrence said yesterday the strategy was needed to help combat a problem which affected about two million Australians and cost the community about $700 million a year. She said reducing the incidence of asthma and the death rate among sufferers was a priority. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy chairman John Weiner said allergies were responsible for about 90 per cent of asthma in children and 60 per cent in adults. The main causes of allergies include dust mites, animal hair, tobacco smoke, food additives and drugs. "We will assess high- risk families and allergies and put money into trying to intervene to reduce risks," he said. Dr Lawrence said the incidence of asthma had risen dramatically over the past 20 years although the death rate had declined since 1989.
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