CHESTPress ReleasesWorld Asthma Day 2024

Asthma Education Is Key to Reducing Deaths Worldwide, Say Respiratory Health Associations

GLENVIEW, IL - On World Asthma Day 2024 (May 7), the message is clear: "Asthma Education Empowers." The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) is a founding member, stresses the crucial role of education in empowering people with asthma to manage their condition effectively and to know when to seek medical assistance.

FIRS also urges health care professionals to enhance their awareness of the preventable morbidity and mortality from asthma and of the published evidence on effective asthma management, so they are equipped to provide reliable information and optimal treatment for their patients.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic noncommunicable diseases that affects more than 260 million people and is responsible for more than 450,000 deaths each year worldwide, most of which are preventable.

Key universal issues on which education is required are:

  • underdiagnosis or inaccurate diagnosis,

  • underuse of antiinflammatory inhaled corticosteroid inhalers,

  • overuse of and overreliance on short-acting β2-agonist inhalers and

  • poor recognition of patients requiring specialist assessment and further management.

In low- and middle-income countries, lack of availability of inhaled medicines, and especially inhaled corticosteroid-containing inhalers, is a major contributor to the fact that more than 90% of asthma deaths occur in these countries.

FIRS calls on policymakers and the pharmaceutical industry to recognize the ongoing issue of preventable illness caused by this common disease, despite the existence of highly effective controller treatments, and to step up efforts to make sure environmentally friendly inhaled medications are available in all countries, ensuring everyone has access and leaving no one behind.

World Asthma Day was first held in 1998 and has grown each year to become one of the most important asthma events globally. On World Asthma Day, hundreds of awareness-raising activities will take place in countries all over the world. Further information about the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and World Asthma Day can be found at GINA’s website: Documents detailing GINA’s global strategy for diagnosis, management and prevention of asthma are also available at

About the American College of Chest Physicians
The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) is the global leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Its mission is to champion advanced clinical practice, education, communication and research in chest medicine. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 22,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians, and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit

About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organization comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally. The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.

FIRS comprises the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latinoamericana de Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).