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Number of people with respiratory diseases likely to increase if UK air pollution remains unchecked

Number of people with respiratory diseases likely to increase if UK air pollution remains unchecked

The number of people suffering from respiratory indications and the severity of those already suffering from the various diseases is expected to increase if air pollution in the UK goes unchecked, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s reports: ‘PharmaPoint: Asthma states that the prevalence of asthma in the UK hovers above nine million, while epidemiology data from ‘PharmaPoint: Chronic Pulmonary Obtrusive Disease’ shows the prevalence of the disease, in 35 year olds and over, is just under two million.

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) has recently published a set of guidelines related to air pollution and the impact it can have on one’s health. It can cause, or worsen several respiratory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition to these diseases, a recent study showed that air pollution may also be linked to neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.

The total cost to the NHS due to air pollution could have been up to £150m in 2017, a significant outlay that will only rise if things are left to carry on as they are, according to Public Health England.

Rahael Maladwala, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments:

The implementation of the government’s ‘Clean Air Strategy’ shows a concerted effort between the regulatory agency and government, which can be seen in the commissioning of new ‘ultra-low emission zones’ in north London, which only allows electric cars in the area for certain hours in the day.

The NHS is under significant stress with factors such as government cuts to funding and an aging population, both playing a major role in this. Therefore, proactive schemes such as the Clean Air Strategy, which can reduce the prevalence of disease, and lessen the amount of people going to the hospital, will play an important role in saving physician time and NHS money.”

NICE have stated the size of the problem they are facing and action that can be taken to reduce the impact of air pollution; the task facing themselves and the government is now one of communication, about how best to effectively spread their guidelines to see the biggest influence on the public’s health.

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