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Statistical data regarding hyperventilation

The first research into this condition only began in the early 1900’s. In the 1930’s, the word hyperventilation was used for the first time and it was immediately labeled as one of the most common chronic conditions, especially for people with a lack of exercise.

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Statistics through the years

Various researchers stated that, amongst patients visiting their doctors, there were in fact many that could be recognized as suffering from hyperventilation.

In 1964, Tavel stated that in 5 to 11% of patients who consulted a family doctor, symptoms had to be attributed to hyperventilation. In 1966, Noehren mentioned a standard of 10% in clinical practice, while Mc Kell stated that, from 500 patients being treated in a gastro-enterological clinic, for 5.8% the diagnosis of hyperventilation syndrome was applicable. In 1969, Silverman wrote that in non-psychotic psychiatric patients, 30% seemed to suffer from hyperventilation syndrome.


In the seventies, Lum examined 700 people suffering from hyperventilation and reported, among other things, that 25% of them had cardiac problems, following symptoms that had to be attributed to the hyperventilation syndrome.

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The research of Drs. Snitslaar

Drs. B. Snitslaar has done extensive research in his period as a doctor attached to the GAK and during his medical practice in the Netherlands. In 1980 and 1981, he investigated 24 people in the context of psychiatric research. On the basis of the criteria used and his findings, he presented that for 75% of them the diagnosis chronic hyperventilation was applicable. Furthermore, the condition was probably the main source of the complaints that had led to sickness and absence from work. In 18 cases, the diagnosis was not made previously. Taking into account that, because of the applied selection criteria, only people suffering from chronic hyperventilation were examined, it remains remarkable that in 1980, from a total of 16.183 mentally ill people, only 179 people (0.1%) were diagnosed with the hyperventilation syndrome.

Hyperventilation – the silent epidemic

Hyperventilation is sometimes called the silent epidemic. Recent estimates by researchers call for 40% of patients in waiting rooms of doctors. Some specialists even stated that 50 to 70% of their patients were breathing excessively. 30 to 40% of people going into hospital with heart problems, appear to have nothing wrong with their heart, but with their breathing.

Medical sources

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