Uniform definition of asthma severity, control, and exacerbations: Document presented for the World Health Organization Consultation on Severe Asthma
ABSTRACT Asthma is a global health problem affecting around 300 million individuals of all ages, ethnic groups and countries. It is estimated that around 250,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of asthma. Concepts of asthma severity and control are important in evaluating patients and their response to treatment, as well as for public health, registries, and research (clinical trials, epidemiologic, genetic, and mechanistic studies), but the terminology applied is not standardized, and terms are often used interchangeably. A common international approach is favored to define severe asthma, uncontrolled asthma, and when the 2 coincide, although adaptation may be required in accordance with local conditions. A World Health Organization meeting was convened April 5-6, 2009, to propose a uniform definition of severe asthma. An article was written by a group of experts and reviewed by the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases review group. Severe asthma is defined by the level of current clinical control and risks as "Uncontrolled asthma which can result in risk of frequent severe exacerbations (or death) and/or adverse reactions to medications and/or chronic morbidity (including impaired lung function or reduced lung growth in children)." Severe asthma includes 3 groups, each carrying different public health messages and challenges: (1) untreated severe asthma, (2) difficult-to-treat severe asthma, and (3) treatment-resistant severe asthma. The last group includes asthma for which control is not achieved despite the highest level of recommended treatment and asthma for which control can be maintained only with the highest level of recommended treatment.
- SourceAvailable from: Mario Cazzola
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- "Asthma affects about 300 million people of all ages and ethnic groups worldwide , with an estimated increase in prevalence to 400 million by 2025 . The economic burden in terms of direct (hospitalization , use of emergency room visits, therapy) and indirect (missed days of work/school) costs adds to the emotional, physical and social impact of asthma, with consequent quality of life deterioration for both patients and their families . "
ABSTRACT: International guidelines describe asthma control as the main outcome of asthma management. Prevention of symptoms, improved quality of life, and reduction of exacerbations are the main components, consequently decreasing health care costs. However, many of these objectives remain unmet in real life: several surveys show that a large proportion of asthmatic patients are not well controlled despite the efficacy of current available treatment. Several randomized controlled clinical trials indicate that combining inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β2-agonists, by means of a single inhaler, greatly improves the management of the disease. The results of 9 multicenter phase III clinical studies demonstrate that the fixed combination of fluticasone propionate/formoterol in a single inhaler is effective in terms of lung function and symptom control. These studies highlight the dose flexibility, safety and tolerability of this new inhaled combination. These characteristics meet the recommendations of international guidelines, and the preferences of respiratory physicians who identified these aspects as critical components of a successful asthma therapy. Combination of fluticasone propionate/formoterol in a single inhaler provides potent anti-inflammatory activity of fluticasone propionate and rapid onset of action of the β2-agonist formoterol making this association a viable treatment option both in terms of effectiveness and compliance.European Journal of Internal Medicine 10/2014; 25(8). DOI:10.1016/j.ejim.2014.06.022 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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- "Asthma incidence is increasing with more than half of the patients failing to achieve adequate control. Furthermore, 5–10% of patients have persistent symptoms despite maximal treatment with conventional antiinflammatory and bronchodilator therapy  . "
ABSTRACT: In recent years, asthma has been defined primarily as an inflammatory disorder with emphasis on inflammation being the principle underlying pathophysiological characteristic driving airway obstruction and remodelling. Morphological abnormalities of asthmatic airway smooth muscle (ASM), the primary structure responsible for airway obstruction seen in asthma, have long been described, but surprisingly, until recently, relatively small number of studies investigated whether asthmatic ASM was also fundamentally different in its functional properties. Evidence from recent studies done on single ASM cells and on ASM-impregnated gel cultures have shown that asthmatic ASM is intrinsically hypercontractile. Several elements of the ASM contraction apparatus in asthmatics and in animal models of asthma have been found to be different from nonasthmatics. These differences include some regulatory contractile proteins and also some components of both the calcium-dependent and calcium-independent contraction signalling pathways. Furthermore, oxidative stress was also found to be heightened in asthmatic ASM and contributes to hypercontractility. Understanding the abnormalities and mechanisms driving asthmatic ASM hypercontractility provides a great potential for the development of new targeted drugs, other than the conventional current anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator therapies, to address the desperate unmet need especially in patients with severe and persistent asthma.Journal of Allergy 03/2013; 2013:185971. DOI:10.1155/2013/185971
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- "It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. According to the World Health Organization, this is expected to rise to 400 million by 2025, and almost 250,000 deaths per year are attributed to asthma (Bousquet et al., 2010). While evidence and theories implicate a variety of contributing factors from cellular to organ levels, asthma is perhaps best characterised as an emergent phenomena that is fundamentally a disease of airway constriction and obstruction. "
ABSTRACT: Airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR), a hallmark of asthma, is a highly complex phenomenon characterised by multiple processes manifesting over a large range of length and time scales. Multiscale computational models have been derived to embody the experimental understanding of AHR. While current models differ in their derivation, a common assumption is that the increase in parenchymal tethering pressure P(teth) during airway constriction can be described using the model proposed by Lai-Fook (1979), which is based on intact lung experimental data for elastic moduli over a range of inflation pressures. Here we reexamine this relationship for consistency with a nonlinear elastic material law that has been parameterised to the pressure-volume behaviour of the intact lung. We show that the nonlinear law and Lai-Fook's relationship are consistent for small constrictions, but diverge when the constriction becomes large.Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 06/2012; 183(2):85-90. DOI:10.1016/j.resp.2012.06.014 · 1.97 Impact Factor