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ICD Code: 493. Asthma

ICD Code: 493. Article Review
Title: Knox SA et al; "Estimating Prevalence of Common Chronic Morbidities in Australia." Medical Journal of Australia; V.189; No.2; 7/21/08; p66
      STUDY DESIGN: This study from Australia estimated the prevalence of selected diagnosed chronic diseases among patients attending general practice (GP), in the general practice patient population, and in the Australian population, and compared population estimates with those of the National Health Survey (NHS). The study was a survey of patients attending a subsample of GPs participating in the Bettering the Evaluation And Care of Health (BEACH) program, a continuous, national cross-sectional study of general practice activity in Australia. About 1000 randomly selected GPs per year each record information about encounters with 100 consecutive consenting patients, providing morbidity and treatment data on about 100,000 encounters annually. In substudies of BEACH, the GP records information additional to BEACH encounter data, in discussion with the patient. In this substudy, 305 GPs recorded information on 30 patients during the periods 12 July to 19 August and 25 October to 28 November 2005.
      ESTIMATING POPULATION PREVALENCE: In 2005-2006, 88% of the Australian population visited a vocationally registered GP at least once, with an average visit frequency of about 6 visits per person per year. The number of annual visits increased with age and was higher for female patients than male patients. The authors assumed that people who did not attend a GP had none of the listed conditions that required ongoing management. Estimates of national prevalence were calculated by multiplying the general practice population rate by 88%.
      PREVALENCE (AUSTRALIA): Based on a prevalence of 10.6% among patients who visited a GP at least once a year, the estimated prevalence of asthma among the Australian population was reported as 9.3%, compared with an estimate of 10.2% from the 2004-2005 NHS. The GP prevalence was reported as 6.5%, 3.5%, and 0.6%, respectively, for mild, moderate, and severe asthma, and the national estimates were reported as 5.7%, 3.1%, and 0.5%. NHS estimates were not available by severity level.

Search Criteria: Text - Medical Journal of Australia; V.189; No.2; 7/21/08; p66