Aussie asthma deaths rates down 70% since 1980s

THE number of Australians dying from asthma has fallen almost 70% since the 1980s, but still ranks higher than several European countries.

A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released yesteday showed Australia has a similar asthma death rate to America and Britain.

But Australia's death rate, at 1.5 people for every 100,000 Australians aged five to 34 years old, was still higher than Poland, Italy, Germany and France.

The report showed Australia's asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease death rates showed asthma killed just 378 Australians in 2011.

But COPD, which affects older people, was an underlying cause in 5,767 deaths in the same year.