Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs. People with asthma experience wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways.
In Australia, around one million children live with serious respiratory diseases, with asthma alone costing the country $28 billion each year. More than 110,000 of these children are in WA. These illnesses are the leading cause of hospital admissions for children under four, accounting for 30 percent of all childhood hospitalisations. One fifth of Aboriginal children have a long-term respiratory disease, with the prevalence of asthma being 50% higher in this population. Moreover, Aboriginal infants affected by a long-term respiratory condition are up to ten times more likely to die from their disease.
Find out more about research into childhood asthma at the Wal-yan Respiratory Research Centre.