Warning common lung condition could become deadly due to everyday winter viruses


SCOTS asthma sufferers are being urged to take extra care with their health this winter as stark figures show nearly half of respiratory deaths occur between December and March.

The latest analysis of new Scottish Government data have revealed winter to be the deadliest season for people with lung conditions.

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Woman hand holding asthma inhaler ready to use in winterCredit: Getty

Statistics show 43% of respiratory deaths caused by issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.

Now charity bosses are concerned people living with lung conditions could get sicker by cutting back on heating and eating well due to the cost of living crisis.

Joseph Carter, head of lung charity Asthma + Lung UK Scotland said: “This winter is going to be hard on the people’s lungs, with higher rates of respiratory infections and many people struggling to stay well with colder homes and fewer food choices. It is vital that people with lung conditions take extra care particularly as the cost of living begins to bite and many people cut back on meals and warming their homes.

“Worryingly we have found that around 1 in 3 people surveyed with lung conditions in Scotland say that their health is worsening as they cut back on food and heating.

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The new figures shows people with asthma are particularly at risk, with an increase of 120% in the number of people dying from the condition in winter compared to summer.

The charity also revealed that hospital admissions for respiratory conditions in Scotland increased by over 75% (three quarters) in winter compared to summer and that nearly half (2 in 5) (40%) of yearly admissions occur in the winter months.

There are around 368,000 Scots thought to have asthma, of which 72,000 are children.

Winter is an event dangerous time for people with lung conditions as viruses such as flu and Covid-19 are rift.

And cold air from plummeting temperatures are top triggers for life-threatening asthma attacks and can cause other lung conditions to get worse – leaving people struggling to breathe.

Asthma + Lung UK Scotland have advised those who are affected by lung conditions to ensure they keep up to date with their flu, Covid-19, and pneumonia vaccines if eligible.

They have advised they take their regular medications as prescribed, eat well – at least one hot meal a day – and keep themselves warm by wearing warm layers, lots of hot drinks and ideally heating their home to around 18C.

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