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Asthma among U.S. youth severe

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NEW YORK, Dec 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- California researchers say asthmatic attacks among U.S. children are far more common and severe than many people realize.

The Children and Asthma in America study found 54 percent of all children with asthma suffered a severe asthma attack during the past year, and 27 percent said their asthma attack was so bad they thought their life was in danger, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

The survey suggests the United States is still falling far short of national treatment goals established for asthma, and reveals the majority of children with asthma do not have it under control. That, study officials aid, places children at potential risk for missed school, restrictions on activities, emotional distress, hospitalization and even life-threatening asthma attacks.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses among children, with an estimated 5.8 million U.S. children between four and 18 years of age diagnosed with asthma.

"These are disturbing findings, especially since asthma is a highly controllable disease," said Dr. William Sears of the University of California's Irvine School of Medicine.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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