Busselton Health Study needs more participants for research on respiratory illnesses

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Mayor Grant Henley has joined the Busselton Health Study in calling on local residents to take part in a population survey on respiratory health.

So far more than 1000 participants have already taken part to help researchers understand common airway conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, coughs and breathlessness.

"It would be good to add to research that aids understanding of respiratory conditions. Especially at the moment with COVID and other respiratory tract conditions having such a profound impact any assistance to research is well worth a small sacrifice of time," Mr Henley said.

"The local community benefits through the data, and aids research into a deeper understanding of environmental and lifestyle impacts on the respiratory system.

By taking part in this important study we can also get some indication of underlying health issues that may not be picked up in a quick visit to your GP," centre director, Dr Michael Hunter said.

"Data collected in the Busselton Respiratory Study will help us investigate the factors that contribute to lung health problems.

There is growing recognition that common airway diseases like asthma and COPD have overlapping clinical features and symptoms.

This makes accurate diagnosis difficult and often results in inappropriate treatment.

Our researchers are collecting information on the frequency of potentially treatable factors, how much they overlap and how best to detect them in the general population".

BPMRI Chair and project lead Professor Alan James said, "The longer-term outcomes of the project will also contribute to surveillance of the risk factors and effects of COVID-19 infection and health outcomes in the community.

For instance, the data will be an important resource to investigate infection status and susceptibility in relationship to pre-existing airway disease and other chronic conditions as case numbers grow in the region over the coming years," he said.

Since 1966 the Busselton Health Surveys have provided valuable information about patterns of common diseases, particularly lung disease, heart disease, diabetes and risk factors for these conditions in the community.

Over 30,000 residents have taken part in these various surveys over the last 56 years and the data collected has been used to produce over 500 scientific publications.

Dr Hunter said "All adults listed on the electoral roll in the City of Busselton local government boundary are eligible to participate in the current survey.

It is important to note that the study is not just restricted to people with lung conditions, we also would like people who may not have any problems with their lungs to participate too.

Period14 Mar 2022

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