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Fam Pract. 1991 Mar;8(1):37-41.

The social impact of asthma.

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  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Manchester, Rusholme Health Centre, UK.


While much research has examined the aetiology and treatment of asthma, little work has been done on its social impact. Yet asthma, like any disease, has a social as well as a medical dimension and it is increasingly being recognized that these two dimensions are interlinked. This paper describes a study into the social and personal impact of asthma on the lives of sufferers and their families. It shows that people are affected in many different ways: in employment, schooling, physical activities, social interaction, personal relationships and emotional well-being. All of the people interviewed had experienced some impact on their lives, albeit to varying degrees. The overall social impact was positively correlated with the severity of the asthma itself; this correlation was statistically significant in the case of adults and children under school age.

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