Asthma in Pacificans in New Zealand and in the South Pacific.

Moala, A; Pearce, N; (2001) Asthma in Pacificans in New Zealand and in the South Pacific. Pacific health dialog, 8 (1). pp. 183-7. ISSN 1015-7867

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Asthma morbidity is a major public health problem in New Zealand. While considerable research has been done on asthma prevalence and access to asthma care among European and Maori, currently available information on the prevalence and severity of asthma in Pacific people in New Zealand is sparse. Furthermore, there have been only a few surveys on asthma prevalence in Pacific countries and these have used a variety of methodologies. We have therefore reviewed research on asthma prevalence and access to asthma health care in New Zealand and the Pacific nations, which had included information on Pacific people. The available evidence indicates several key features of asthma in Pacific people. In New Zealand, asthma prevalence in Pacific children is similar to, or lower than, that in non-Polynesian children, whereas in adults the prevalence is higher in both Pacific and Maori people. Asthma is more severe in Pacific people and Maori with a higher frequency of hospitalizations. The available evidence also indicates that the greater severity, and the greater adult prevalence, in Pacific people may be partly or wholly due to problems of access to culturally appropriate asthma health care and asthma education. However, this is an area that needs further research. There is some evidence that prevalence of asthma may be higher in Pacific children in New Zealand than in the Pacific, however little else is known about the prevalence patterns of asthma throughout the Pacific. Systematic standardised prevalence studies, including participation in Phase III of the ISAAC study, would clearly be of value in assessing the patterns and extent of asthma morbidity throughout the Pacific.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 12017821


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