Chennai running out of breath

Chennai seems to be in news for all the unhealthy reasons. After being labelled the diabetes capital of the country, it is now being called the asthma capital.

With vehicle population in TN crossing the 1.5-crore mark and Chennai alone accounting for 37 lakh carbon-monoxide emitting demons, doctors said on the eve of World Asthma Day the number of people suffering from breathing disorders and respiratory illnesses had risen.

“Chennai is the asthma capital of the country, thanks to its humid weather. The situation will improve only when pollution comes down,” chest specialist K. Jaganmoorthy said.

Of the 400 patients that crowd the out-patient department at Institute of Thoracic Medicine in Chennai, nearly 40 per cent suffer from obstructive lung diseases such as asthma, allergic bronchitis and emphysema.

Experts warned asthma had become a major global public health problem and the number of patients had doubled in the past 10 years.

“People of all ages are affected by this chronic airway disorder that can place severe limits on daily life and can sometimes prove fatal,” said K.M Cherian of Frontier LifeLine Hospital.

At an awareness camp at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital Monday, dean Kanagasabai said, “People should do yoga and other exercises. It is important to live in a spacious environment and grow plants at home. Make sure objects at home do not gather dust, which will result in asthma.”

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