More than a million people in the UK have experienced life-threatening asthma attacks after cutting back on medicine, heating or food amid the soaring cost of living crisis, a survey suggests.
One in five (20%) people living with asthma in the UK – of which there are 5.4 million – have had an attack as a result of changes they have been forced to make due to rising energy, food and household bills, according to the research by Asthma + Lung UK. Fuel poverty campaigners described the figures as “distressing”.
Almost half of the 3,600 people with lung conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis surveyed by the charity said their health had worsened since the crisis began.
Asthma + Lung UK warned there could be a “tidal wave” of hospital admissions in the next few months as cold weather, an abundance of viruses and people cutting back on medicines, heating, food and electricity put them at increased risk.
Sarah Woolnough, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Untenable cost of living hikes are forcing people with lung conditions to make impossible choices about their health.
“Warm homes, regular medicine and a healthy diet are all important pillars to good lung condition management – but they all come at a cost. We are hearing from people already reporting a sharp decline in their lung health, including many having life-threatening asthma attacks.
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Source: The Guardian, 28 September 2022