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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 295

(Question No. 1494)

Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services and Health, upon notice, on 27 June 1994:

  (1) Has the Government undertaken any studies as to the rates of heart attack death of asthma sufferers.

  (2) Does the Government consider this to be a matter of concern; if so, are there any measures planned to highlight the vulnerability of asthma sufferers to heart attacks.

Senator Crowley —The Minister for Human Services and Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) No.

  (2) The Government does consider the morbidity and mortality of asthma sufferers to be of concern, and is funding research into all causes of morbidity due to asthma. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the Commonwealth Government's main funding body for health and medical research, including research into asthma. In 1994, the NHMRC is providing over $5.6 million for respiratory research. Of this, approximately $2.3 million has been allocated specifically for asthma related research.

  The Government is pleased to note a reduction in mortality due to asthma, with deaths from asthma falling from 5.73 per 100,000 in 1989 to 4.34 per 100,000 in 1992, the most recent figure.