Health News: New evidence underscores preventive treatment as crucial for asthma management

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Health News: New evidence underscores preventive treatment as crucial for asthma management

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According to the latest Philippine Consensus Report on Asthma diagnosis and management, approximately 339.4 million people worldwide suffer from asthma.[1] This makes the disease one of the leading causes of years lived with disability globally.1

 

Like other illnesses, the first step to treating asthma is to establish a proper diagnosis. This is done through an examination of recurring symptoms and the patient’s history, or by conducting a spirometry test to look into the airway obstruction further.[2]

 

Once a diagnosis has been determined, the next step is asthma management. This involves keenly following medical guidance because not all asthma patients take the same medication. Some doctors may prescribe quick-relief medicine to control the symptoms of an asthma attack, while others prescribe long-term medication to help lessen the frequency and severity of the incidents.[3]

 

After receiving their treatment plan and medication, however, there is a tendency for asthma patients to cease going on annual check-ups.[4] In Why Asthma Still Kills, the National Review of Asthma Deaths’ (NRAD) first national investigation of asthma deaths in the UK, they have noted that out of the 195 people who died from asthma during their review period, 57% were not recorded as being under specialist supervision during the 12 months prior to death.4 Behaviors like this may be attributed to many patients’ lack of awareness of their condition.[5]

 

Additional studies also support this reality, including research on How real patients with severe asthma experience their disease. This study found that its participants underestimated their asthma severity and symptoms, resulting in disease denial and passivity. The participants also noted that they needed a comprehensive understanding of their disease from the beginning.[6]

 

Knowing these realities makes proper treatment and disease awareness all the more necessary.

 

New evidence highlights long-term regular treatment as optimal

 

The latest research by Professor Dave Singh, a professor of clinical pharmacology and respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester, states that the daily usage of Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) treatments, otherwise known as maintenance inhalers, can effectively treat immediate asthma symptoms while also providing sufficient overall disease control.5

 

“Most may think that inhalers are only necessary during asthma attacks, as opposed to a consistent form of treatment,” says Professor Singh. “By looking at asthma as a chronic disease, patients will be able to view their treatment as a way to address the underlying source of their conditions,” he adds.

 

Using ICS inhalers on a regular basis has also been found to decrease the number and severity of patient asthma attacks.5 At the same time, it alleviates short-term symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing, or chest tightness,[7] all in all, making it an optimal form of treatment. “We’re optimistic that our research leads to a better understanding of asthma and its ideal treatment forms so that patients and their doctors can work towards improving their condition and long-term outlook,” Singh added.

 

Supporting Singh’s research is a recently published post hoc analysis of a GSK-sponsored AUSTRI study on the correlation between increased use of a reliever (albuterol) and an increased risk of asthma attacks.8 One of the key findings of the analysis revealed “In patients with a one-year history of exacerbations, ~92% of those treated daily regimen of ICS/LABA did not exacerbate during the treatment period.8

 

“There are very few studies that investigate pattens of reliever use in patients with a history of severe asthma exacerbations,” said Singh. “These results underline the importance of a maintenance regimen with a combination of [ICS/LABA] in opening new doors to achieving better asthma control for patients with moderate asthma in the Philippines.” Singh ended.

 

 

NP-PH-FPS-PRSR-220004 | November 2022

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[1] Philippine College of Chest Physicians Council on Asthma. (2019). Philippine Consensus Report on Asthma Diagnosis and Management 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from http://philchest.org/xp/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/PCRADM-2019-Exec-Summary-.pdf.

[2] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. n.d. Asthma Care Quick Reference. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/guidelines/asthma_qrg.pdf

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 30). Asthma – Management and Treatment Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/management.html

[4] Why Asthma Still Kills: The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD). RCP London May 2014 available from: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/default/files/why-asthma-still-kills-full-report.pdf

Accessed September 2022.

[5] Singh, D. (2022, March). New Versus Old: The Impact of Changing Patterns of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescribing and Dosing Regimens in Asthma Management. Springer Open Choice, 39(5). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-022-02092-7. Accessed 13 Sept 2022.

[6] Urrutia, I., & Resler, G. (2020, July). How real patients with severe asthma experience their disease: An ethnographic study. Atención Primaria Práctica, 2(4–5), 100057. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appr.2020.100057

[7] Have Asthma? Learn how you can improve your health and quality of life. (2022, February 22). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/default.htm

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