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Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the leading cause of hospitalization in children. In Alberta, the prevalence of asthma is ~12% among all ages combined. Asthma is a disease most often characterized by chronic airway inflammation.

The symptoms of asthma may change over time but rarely do patients become permanently symptom free, so asthma does require lifelong management. At least 50% of individuals with asthma have poor disease control, leading to poor quality of life and a predisposition to worsening lung disease over time.

The Conference Board of Canada report on Chronic Lung Disease estimated that by 2020 3.5 million Canadians will have asthma with total annual costs approaching $3.1 billion.

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