Breathe Better this September and improve your lung health

3 September 2018


This month is Breathe Better September, which the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is getting behind to raise awareness of respiratory conditions in Aotearoa.


A range of Breathe Better resources - including asthma, better breathing and healthy home checklists - will be made available from GP practices across the Whanganui district, and will also be shared online during the month.


The national campaign encourages people to show their support for better breathing and healthy lungs - and to start thinking about how they can improve their respiratory health.

More than 700,000 New Zealanders have a respiratory condition, which is the third leading cause of death nationwide at a cost of $6 billion each year. In Whanganui, there were 1444 respiratory hospitalisations in 2015 alone.


Meanwhile, more than 521,000 New Zealanders take medication for asthma, making it the most common respiratory condition in the country – with a cost of more than $858 million each year.


By far the highest number of people being admitted to hospital with asthma nationwide are Māori, Pacific peoples and people living in the most deprived areas. Māori are 3.4 times and Pacific peoples 3.9 times more likely to be hospitalised than non-Māori, while people living in the most deprived areas are 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalised than those in the least deprived areas.

Breathe Better September is being led by the NZ Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, and challenges people to improve their fitness and breathing, while helping to create awareness, and fundraising, for New Zealanders living with respiratory conditions.


Last year, participants raised money through self-imposed challenges including walking, biking, meditation and healthy eating.


To get involved and set your own challenge, visit:


Did You Know:

  • In 2015 there were a total of 1444 respiratory hospitalisations at Whanganui DHB.
  • In 2015 there were a total of 164 asthma hospitalisations at Whanganui DHB.
  • Between 2008-2013, a total of 360 people died due to respiratory disease at Whanganui DHB.
  • Between 2008-2013, a total of 6 people died due to asthma at Whanganui DHB.