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Asthma control code launched to grow treatment awareness

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan Asthma Council (TAC) yesterday proposed an asthma treatment code to help about 2 million patients in Taiwan better control their asthma.

According to the TAC, asthma is one of the chronic illnesses that many countries focus on, and the death rate and financial burden from asthma increase gradually each year.

However, as long as asthma patients can constantly monitor the illness, the TAC said, the death rate from asthma can be decreased.

According to the TAC, a majority of the asthma patients in Taiwan do not visit doctors regularly or take medicine on time, which results in repeated asthma attacks.

In order to achieve the ultimate goal of properly controlling asthma, the TAC said, they proposed an asthma control code that divides the treatment into three stages: proper diagnosis, increasing lung function and long-term control.

The TAC said that the asthma control code will map out asthma treatment standards for patients while raising awareness of the illness among the public at the same time.

According to the TAC, about 70 percent of people in Taiwan are worried about the side effects of medicines. However, Yu Chung-jen (余忠仁), director of National Taiwan University Hospital's Department of Pulmonary Medicine, said that the side effects from inhaled corticosteroid are much lower than the side effects from corticosteroid pills.

Yu said that the risk of being hospitalized for asthma is three times higher for patients who do not control the illness than those who do.

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