MORE people are suffering with asthma in Yorkshire and the North West than anywhere else in England, data suggests.
GPs in these areas have the highest number of patients diagnosed with the condition, according to Asthma + Lung UK.
The charity analysed NHS statistics across the country, ranking the top 30 surgeries for asthma prevalence.
More than a quarter (eight) are located in the North West, while 20 per cent (six) are in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Some 10 per cent (three) are based in the East Midlands, the South West, and the East of England.
The practice with the highest asthma level is St Werburgh’s Medical Practice for the Homeless in Chester, where 14 per cent of patients have the condition.
This is closely followed by Marshalls Road Surgery in Raunds, North Northamptonshire, and Foundations Medical Practice in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, which both have a prevalence rate of 12 per cent.
Experts have raised concerns about the air pollution levels in these areas.
Two thirds of the top 30 are located within a mile of a busy A-road, and almost all (97 per cent) of these roads exceed World Health Organization guidelines for air pollution.
The analysis also revealed 40 per cent of the GP surgeries were situated near streets with more than double the nitrogen oxide levels recommended by WHO in 2021.
Speaking to i, Graham Devereux, professor of respiratory diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said living in these neighbourhoods could be “a marker of deprivation” and the high rates were a “manifestation of poverty”.
A spokesperson for Asthma + Lung said: “Being exposed to air pollution over a long period of time can cause lung conditions, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“If you’re exposed to high levels of pollution when you’re pregnant, whether you have asthma yourself or not, your baby could be more likely to develop asthma.
“Air pollution also increases the risk of lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
“And there’s evidence that breathing in particulate matter (PM) plays a part in the development of lung cancer.”
Particulate matter, such as dust, dirt and smoke, is inhaled and gets lodged in the airways, lungs and even bloodstream.
Nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulphur dioxide are also particularly damaging types of air pollution, the charity added.
Top 30 GP surgeries with highest asthma prevalence
- St Werburgh’s Medical Practice Homeless, Chester (14.21%)
- Foundations Medical Practice, Middlesbrough (12.03%)
- Marshalls Road Surgery, Corby (11.96%)
- East Bank Medical Centre, Sheffield (11.83%)
- Eastfield Medical Centre, Scarborough and Whitby (11.75%)
- Arch Healthcare, Brighton (11.47%)
- Eden Surgery, Erewash (11.22%)
- Berrymead Family Medical Centre, St Helens (11.01%)
- Meadow View, Ealing North (10.70%)
- The Spinney Medical Centre, St Helens (10.66%)
- Mundesley Medical Centre, Norfolk (10.65%)
- Central Surgery, South Shields (10.64%)
- Picton Medical Centre, Bradford (10.58%)
- Cheviot Road Surgery, Southampton (10.58%)
- Church View Surgery, Rayleigh and Wickford (10.54%)
- Clock Tower Surgery, Exeter (10.53%)
- Poplars Medical Practice, Wolverhampton (10.52%)
- The Weaver Vale Surgery, Eddisbury (10.44%)
- Marsh Medical Practice, Louth and Horncastle (10.44%)
- Stepping Stone Practice, Blackburn (10.43%)
- Park Green Surgery, Hemsworth (10.37%)
- Marus Bridge Practice, Makerfield (10.31%)
- Manor Field Surgery, Rother Valley (10.26%)
- Savile Town Medical Centre, Dewsbury (10.25%)
- Partington Central Surgery, Stretford and Urmston (10.18%)
- Okehampton Medical Centre, Devon (10.14%)
- Bethany Medical Centre, St Helens (10.13%)
- Ranworth Surgery, Clacton (10.08%)
- Cam & Uley Family Practice, Stroud (10.08%)
- Goldenhill Medical Centre, Stoke-on-Trent (10.05%)
Source: Asthma + Lung
Tim Dexter, from Asthma + Lung UK, said: “Toxic air is a major driver of life-threatening lung and can cause asthma attacks.
“It is crucial the government and local political leaders take urgent action to reduce the excessive levels of air pollution across the country.
“The data shows us that more deprived areas have a greater number of people with asthma, and much more needs to be done to tackle health inequalities, ensuring people in these areas are not exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.
“No one should have to suffer worse health because of where they live or how much money they have.
“We believe that good lung health and the ability to breathe freely are a basic right.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told The Sun:
“We are working hard to improve lung health across the country – including by investing millions in research and backing the NHS’s targeted lung health checks programme, which aims to detect conditions earlier.
“We’ve set ambitious clean air targets to reduce the health impacts of air pollution – ensuring reductions are made where concentrations are highest and our Major Conditions Strategy will improve care and outcomes for those living with multiple conditions including chronic respiratory disease.”