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PTI is a GP-database comprising a sample of 60 general practices representing about 6 % of Scottish general practices and around 6 % of the Scottish patient population.It includes GP and nurse consultations and diagnoses using Read codes, along with demographic data.However, considering that an asthma episode may present in secondary care and that most UK primary and secondary care data are not linked, it was challenging to identify with certainty if an asthma episode presenting in secondary care represented the first occurrence of the asthma case.Due to differences among data sources and reporting, we used two measures of incidence, namely (1) clinician-reported mean weekly incident spells of asthma and (2) clinician-reported onset of asthma.Asthma resulted in at least 6.3 m primary care consultations, 93,000 hospital in-patient episodes, 1800 intensive-care unit episodes and 36,800 disability living allowance claims.The costs of asthma were estimated at least £1.1 billion: 74 % of these costs were for provision of primary care services (60 % prescribing, 14 % consultations), 13 % for disability claims, and 12 % for hospital care. Asthma is very common and is responsible for considerable morbidity, healthcare utilisation and financial costs to the UK public sector.In Wales, onset of asthma resulting in new GP consultation was estimated from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank, which during the study period collected data from 42 % of the GP practices in Wales [: Appendix 1).Only patients who had not deregistered from the participating GP practices and did not consult a GP for asthma between 2006––11 and had new consultations with Read code for asthma (Additional file : Appendix 1) in 2011–12 were counted.
Our previous related work, commissioned to inform United Kingdom (UK) and Scottish parliamentary reviews of allergy services, demonstrated that the UK had amongst the highest prevalence of allergy and asthma in the world .
We analysed and reported the findings for 2011–12, or where this was not available, for 2010–11.