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Asthma in low-income and middle-income countries: an urgent call to action
  1. J Mark FitzGerald1,2,
  2. Khalid Al Efraij1
  1. 1 Institute for Heart and Lung Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2 Division of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor J Mark FitzGerald, Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, USA; mark.fitzgerald{at}vch.ca

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The global burden of asthma is significant.1 Although mortality rates have improved, recent data have suggested that even in developed economies, asthma deaths are at unacceptable levels and in many cases are associated with avoidable factors.2 3 Traditionally, asthma has been seen as a disease primarily impacting developed economies while communicable diseases were considered to be the major priority in low-income and middle-income countries. It is now recognised that chronic non-communicable diseases exert a greater impact than communicable diseases in these regions of the world.4 Despite awareness of this change in epidemiology, we currently lack robust epidemiological and health outcomes asthma data in these countries. The study by Kirenga and colleagues from Uganda fills such a gap and also highlights the importance of evaluating health outcomes in these settings.5

In this study, a cohort of 449 patients with asthma were identified and followed for 2 years documenting rates of exacerbations …

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