Bad habits encourage asthma

The number of Greeks affected by asthma has increased significantly over the past 20 years, chiefly due to an unhealthy lifestyle involving too much time indoors and low-nutrition «convenience» food, experts said yesterday. As for children, their growing tendency not to play outdoors and their introduction at an early age to creches, where they are exposed to infections from other children, mean many of them develop asthma, experts told a press conference yesterday ahead of World Asthma Day on May 1. Up to 8 percent of Greek children are believed to be asthma sufferers. The illness is also a costly affair, according to the Hellenic Thoracic Society, which said some 88 million euros per year were lost in treatment costs and work absences by sick employees. According to experts, asthma often strikes at a young age, affecting many children who often feel tired at school. The basic symptoms are coughing and chest pains. Leading up to World Asthma Day, the society is to run a public awareness campaign in several cities, including Athens and Thessaloniki.

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