Asthma sufferers in rural areas hospitalised more often

RURAL Australians suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease end up in hospital more frequently than their urban counterparts, new research shows.

Reasons for the findings from the Geographic Distribution of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Hospitalisations in Australia: 2007-08 to 2009-10 report can be attributed to socioeconomic status and access to health services.

"There are many other reasons why asthma and COPD hospitalisation rates may be high in particular areas, including local smoking rates, the prevalence of other health conditions, and issues related to access to health care services, which can increase the likelihood of hospitalisation," Australian Institute of Health and Welfare spokesperson Nigel Harding said.

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