A new perspective on concepts of asthma severity and control

Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 7.64). 10/2008; 32(3):545-54. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00155307
Source: PubMed


Concepts of asthma severity and control are important in the evaluation of patients and their response to treatment but the terminology is not standardised and the terms are often used interchangeably. This review, arising from the work of an American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Task Force, identifies the need for separate concepts of control and severity, describes their evolution in asthma guidelines and provides a framework for understanding the relationship between current concepts of asthma phenotype, severity and control. "Asthma control" refers to the extent to which the manifestations of asthma have been reduced or removed by treatment. Its assessment should incorporate the dual components of current clinical control (e.g. symptoms, reliever use and lung function) and future risk (e.g. exacerbations and lung function decline). The most clinically useful concept of asthma severity is based on the intensity of treatment required to achieve good asthma control, i.e. severity is assessed during treatment. Severe asthma is defined as the requirement for (not necessarily just prescription or use of) high-intensity treatment. Asthma severity may be influenced by the underlying disease activity and by the patient's phenotype, both of which may be further described using pathological and physiological markers. These markers can also act as surrogate measures for future risk.

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Available from: Mike Thomas, Jan 13, 2014
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    • "We also did not have information on spirometry or bronchoprovocation testing and could not adjust for the severity of asthma based on these measures. Prescriptions for respiratory medications and prior asthma exacerbations may be a marker of asthma severity and we included these variables in our multivariable analyses, though prescriptions for asthma medications is not a perfect proxy for severity [39]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Thiazolidinediones are oral diabetes medications that selectively activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and have potent anti-inflammatory properties. While a few studies have found improvements in pulmonary function with exposure to thiazolidinediones, there are no studies of their impact on asthma exacerbations. Our objective was to assess whether exposure to thiazolidinediones was associated with a decreased risk of asthma exacerbation. Methods We performed a cohort study of diabetic Veterans who had a diagnosis of asthma and were taking oral diabetes medications during the period of 10/1/2005 – 9/30/2006. The risk of asthma exacerbations and oral steroid use during 10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007 was compared between patients who were prescribed thiazolidinediones and patients who were on alternative oral diabetes medications. Multivariable logistic regression and negative binomial regression analyses were used to characterize this risk. A sensitivity analysis was performed, restricting our evaluation to patients who were adherent to diabetes therapy. Results We identified 2,178 patients who were on thiazolidinediones and 10,700 who were not. Exposure to thiazolidinediones was associated with significant reductions in the risk of asthma exacerbation (OR = 0.79, 95% CI, 0.62 – 0.99) and oral steroid prescription (OR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.63 – 0.84). Among patients who were adherent to diabetes medications, there were more substantial reductions in the risks for asthma exacerbation (OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.47 – 0.85) and oral steroid prescription (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.57 – 0.81). Conclusions Thiazolidinediones may provide a novel anti-inflammatory approach to asthma management by preventing exacerbations and decreasing the use of oral steroids.
    Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology 07/2014; 10(1):34. DOI:10.1186/1710-1492-10-34 · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    • "The goal of asthma treatment is to achieve and maintain asthma optimal control, which includes current control and long-term components referred to as “risk” or “future risk” since 2009 [3]. Asthma control is evaluated by a global assessment of asthma symptoms, reliever medicine use, lung function, and the frequency/severity of exacerbations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objective The purpose of asthma management is to achieve a total asthma control that involves current control and future risk. It has proven efficacy in reducing asthma exacerbations, but the effect size of zafirlukast for asthma exacerbations of various severity is not systematically explored. Methods Randomized controlled trials were searched in PubMed Central, Web of Science, and Embase, where zafirlukast prevented asthma exacerbations in adults. The primary outcome was asthma exacerbations, the secondary outcomes were asthma exacerbations requiring systemic corticosteroids and emergency visits, respectively. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were pooled. Results Twelve trials were identified. As first-line therapy, compared to those having placebo, the patients with chronic asthma receiving zafirlukast experienced statistically lower asthma exacerbations (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = [0.45, 1.00]), but it was not found that zafirlukast was superior to placebo in asthma exacerbations requiring systemic corticosteroids (OR = 0.76, 95% CI = [0.45, 1.29]). Furthermore, zafirlukast was inferior to ICs in asthma exacerbations (OR = 2.11, 95% CI = [1.35, 3.30]) and requiring systemic corticosteroids (OR = 3.71, 95% CI = [1.82, 7.59]). As add-on therapy, zafirlukast was not superior to placebo in asthma exacerbations (OR =0.99, 95% CI = [0.54, 1.81] and requiring emergency visits (OR = 0.72, 95% CI = [0.18, 2.99]). Intriguingly, there was not a significant difference in asthma exacerbations between zafirlukast and ICs (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = [0.53, 2.34]). Conclusions Our study suggests that zafirlukast, as the first-line therapy, significantly reduces mild to moderate but not severe asthma exacerbations. In the add-on regimen, zafirlukast could not reduce asthma exacerbations, which would perhaps result from small sample size and needs to be further studied.
    Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine 05/2014; 9(1):30. DOI:10.1186/2049-6958-9-30 · 0.15 Impact Factor
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    • "The period for which current clinical control should be assessed is proposed to be the previous 2 to 4 weeks for adults and at least 4 weeks for children. The second component of asthma control is to minimize future risk to the patient by ensuring the absence of asthma exacerbations, the prevention of accelerated decline in lung function over time, and absence of side effects due to medications [15, 16]. These dual components have been particularly emphasized in the recently published Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3) of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [16], in terms of “current impairment” and “future risk.” "
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical research showed that asthma control is an achievable target. However, real-life observations suggest that a significant proportion of patients suffer from symptoms and report lifestyle limitations with a considerable burden on patient's quality of life. The achievement of asthma control is the result of the interaction among different variables concerning the disease pattern and patients' and physicians' knowledge and behaviour. The failure in asthma control can be considered as the result of the complex interaction among different variables, such as the role of guidelines diffusion and implementation, some disease-related factors (i.e., the presence of common comorbidities in asthma such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sleep disturbances and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and rhinitis) or patient-related factors (i.e., adherence to treatment, alexithymia, and coping strategies). Asthma control may be reached through a tailored treatment plan taking into account the complexity of factors that contribute to achieve and maintain this objective.
    12/2013; 2013:549252. DOI:10.1155/2013/549252
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