The number of asthma-related deaths has spiked by 25 percent over the last 10 years – with some experts linking the fatalities to air pollution.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, 1,320 people died of asthma in England and Wales last year, compared with 1,237 in 2016 and 1,033 in 2007.
Sonia Munde, a Nurse Manager at Asthma UK, said: “On days where pollution levels are high, it can leave people with asthma struggling for breath, increasing their risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.”
Responding to the news, Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, added: “It is shocking to see that asthma deaths in England and Wales are the highest they have been this century, with a worrying trend upwards since 2009.
“This is devastating for the families who have lost a loved one and highlights the urgent need to improve basic care for people with asthma.
“The 2014 National Review of Asthma Deaths [NRAD] showed that two-thirds of deaths from asthma could be prevented with better basic care…We know that asthma is not taken seriously enough, as one in six people in the UK do not know or are unsure if the condition can be fatal. This complacency could be costing people’s lives.”