Recently, a large-scale epidemiological study (China Pulmonary Health, CPH) titled Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Management of Asthma in China: a National Cross-sectional Study, was conducted and published on The Lancet, an international authoritative magazine (Impact Factor: 48.36).
The CPH study comes from the “ Research on the prevention, regulation, diagnosis and treatment system of chronic respiratory diseases and appropriate technologies”--- a national specialized project for public and welfare, launched by the Ministry of Health of the PRC. In 2012, under the leadership of Academician Chen Wang with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the large-scale epidemiological survey and research with the participation of 13 top hospitals was officially launched, covering ten provinces and municipalities directly under the administration of the Central Government. Prof. Wen Fuqiang of West China Hospital (WCH) and his team actively participated in the application, establishment, design and implementation of the program. From 2012 to 2014, all the staffs of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of West China Hospital, as well as the postgraduates from relevant departments got involved in the program. A lung health survey and lung function test were carried out on almost 6000 people randomized chosen from 8 different cities and counties, villages and towns. People age 20 and older were included. Based on rigorous epidemiological methods, the prevalence of asthma (4.2% , 45.7 million) and its associated risk factors at all ages, as well as 26.2% from those asthma population (45.7 million) have airflow limitation are identified for the first time, Based on strict epidemiological survey method, however, both the diagnostic rate (only 28.8%) and the standard treatment rate of the disease are still very low.
The research results fully disclose the great challenges in the prevention and control of asthma in China. Asthma has become a kind of chronic disease that constitutes a large burden, like high blood pressure and diabetes. Meanwhile, the research results fill the gaps in the current prevalence data of the chronic respiratory disease in China, which has a significant and far-reaching influence on the strategy formulation of prevention and treatment of asthma, as well as the formulation of hygiene policies for our country and the world.