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"Anaphylaxis is a severe and sudden allergic reaction when a person is exposed to an allergen. The most common allergens are eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. cashews), cow's milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy, certain insect stings and medications."

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Anapen Trainer

Anapen Trainer
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An ANAPEN® Trainer device that is fitted with a dummy syringe, (no sharps are involved) and the demonstration of use really does accurately mimic what happens when a real device is used.

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FEATURE ARTICLE: Study finds new asthma cases on the decline

Asthma cases in children and young people are on the way down but the poor are still more likely to suffer, according to new figures.

A study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare compared figures from 2001 with 2007-08 and found the prevalence of asthma in people aged between 5 and 34 years old had dropped by 25 per cent.

The study also found a drop in the number of new cases among young people and a fall in hospitalisations and deaths linked to asthma.

The director of the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring, Professor Guy Marks, says during the 1980s and 1990s the number of cases were increasing, but the long-term trend is now down.

"Our report today shows that over the last 10 years there's been a decline in the number of children and young adults who have asthma by around about one quarter compared to what it was in 2000," he said.

"The same has been seen for the number of people who have been hospitalised from asthma. There has been a decline probably since the mid-1990s again that seems to have plateaued in recent years."

The report also found those from disadvantaged areas were more likely to be hospitalised than people from high socio-economic areas, with the gap widening in recent years.

Professor Marks says Australia's asthma rates are "relatively high" compared to the rest of the world, but says the recent decline in cases remains something of a mystery.

"We can't really say with any certainty what the reason for that trend is," he said.

"We don't know what causes asthma. We do know that it's likely to be something related to environment or lifestyle factors, but exactly which ones of those factors it is we can't say at the moment."

He says while the drop in the disease is good news, asthma remains a significant health challenge in Australia.

"We have to be careful about being complacent because the prevalence rates and the outcomes of asthma are still high in Australia compared to other countries," he said.

"One of the other things that our report shows is there's increasing evidence of a difference between people living in poorer areas and people living in more well off areas of Australia.

"The prevalence of asthma is higher in people living in more disadvantaged areas and also the outcomes of the disease are worse in people living in those areas."

The report shows the rates of asthma in people aged over 35 haven't declined and that Indigenous Australians have a higher prevalence of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a smoking-related disease.

The report contained a chapter on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which shows that rates of the disease in Australia are also high, but mortality and hospitalisations from this condition have been declining over the past decade too.

This article is proudly brought to you by Activeaide.

Activeaide design and manufacture the leading products for protection of EpiPen® and AnaPen Anaphylaxis auto-injectors. Our range of EpiPen® cases and AnaPen pouches is extensive and growing. Our Asthma related products, include Puffer pouches, Inhaler holders and Nebulizers. Activeaide also market children’s Anaphylaxis books and DVD’s and soon will be launching a range of Medical Jewellery, including medical ID wrist bands, Medical ID necklaces and Medical ID tags.