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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1987 Sep; 80(3 Pt 2): 389-94.

Asthma mortality in France.

Bousquet J, Hatton F, Godard P, Michel FB.

Deaths caused by asthma are now recognized in all western countries, but they were only lately accepted in France because Laennec and Trousseau denied that patients with asthma may die of asthma. The "epidemic" of asthma deaths of the 1960s was not observed. Since 1968, it appears that asthma deaths decreased until 1974 for females and until 1980 for males, and then increased up to 2.9/100,000 in males and 3.6/100,000 for females. In the age group 5 to 34 years, there is a slight increase of deaths caused by asthma with a death rate of 0.35/100,000 in males and 0.39/100,000 in females. The ninth revision of the ICD did not lead to an increase in the number of reported deaths caused by asthma. In Denmark, death rates in the age group 5 to 34 years are similar to those in France, but in Germany they are much greater in number, and a clear increase was noticed. The causes of death of individuals with asthma in France are similar to causes reported in other countries, but deaths caused by specific immunotherapy may be more frequent because asthma is often treated by this form of therapy. Moreover, some deaths were associated with "corticophobia," with many patients preferring to use homeopathy or acupuncture.

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