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Asthma is a common inflammatory disease affecting the airways that leads to shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Symptoms range from mild to severe but are generally manageable with appropriate treatment.

When asthmatics come into contact with something that irritates their lungs, three main changes occur that prevent air from moving easily through the airways. The bands of muscle surrounding the airways tighten and narrow the airway (bronchospasm), the lining of the airways inflame, and the cells that line the airways produce more mucus. This bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production lead to wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing.

An asthma “attack” refers to when the onset of symptoms is severe. In rare cases, an asthma attack can be life threatening and hospitalization may be required to provide emergency treatment.
The exact cause of asthma is not yet clear, but examples of factors that are known to trigger the condition include allergens such as house dust mites or pollen, cigarette smoke, exercise, chest infections, and exposure to cold air.

Asthma cannot be cured but it can be controlled. One of the most important parts of asthma control is identifying asthma triggers so they can be avoided wherever possible. Medications that may be used include anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and mucus production and bronchodilators to relax the muscles that tighten and narrow the airways.
Global market for asthma treatment expected to reach $21.7 billion by 2020

Global market for asthma treatment expected to reach $21.7 billion by 2020

Despite generic erosion facing several of the leading asthma brands, such as Advair (fluticasone propionate/salmeterol xinafoate), Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol fumarate) and Xolair (omalizumab), the global market for asthma treatment is set to witness moderate growth by the end of the decade. [More]
DDW 2015: Experts explore efficacy of Stretta therapy for treating chronic GERD patients

DDW 2015: Experts explore efficacy of Stretta therapy for treating chronic GERD patients

A special presentation at Digestive Disease Week 2015 featured GERD experts weighing in on their successful experience using Stretta therapy to treat challenging patient populations suffering from GERD. [More]
Therapy for genetically-caused emphysema slows progression of lung disease

Therapy for genetically-caused emphysema slows progression of lung disease

A landmark clinical study in the Lancet provides convincing evidence that a frequently overlooked therapy for genetically-caused emphysema is effective and slows the progression of lung disease. [More]
Airway and systemic inflammation predict COPD exacerbation

Airway and systemic inflammation predict COPD exacerbation

Researchers have found a link between increased airway and systemic inflammation and frequent exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [More]
Soy supplement does not improve lung function, clinical outcomes in patients with asthma

Soy supplement does not improve lung function, clinical outcomes in patients with asthma

Although some data have suggested that supplementation with soy isoflavone may be an effective treatment for patients with poor asthma control, a randomized trial that included nearly 400 children and adults found that use of the supplement did not result in improved lung function or clinical outcomes, including asthma symptoms and episodes of poor asthma control, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA. [More]
UC Davis researchers show feasibility of using statins to treat asthma

UC Davis researchers show feasibility of using statins to treat asthma

Statins continue to show that their benefits extend beyond their original focus of lowering high cholesterol. With the increasing prevalence of asthma, scientists are studying the effects of statins in the lungs. [More]
Research finds association between fine particulate air pollution and childhood autism risk

Research finds association between fine particulate air pollution and childhood autism risk

Exposure to fine particulate air pollution during pregnancy through the first two years of a child's life may be associated with an increased risk of the child developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition that affects one in 68 children, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health investigation of children in southwestern Pennsylvania. [More]
Women more likely to be hospitalised after asthma emergency care

Women more likely to be hospitalised after asthma emergency care

US research shows that women who attend the emergency department with acute asthma are almost twice as likely to be admitted to hospital than men despite several measures of asthma control, treatment and severity being more favourable in women. [More]
Prediagnostic lung function impairment common in older asthma patients

Prediagnostic lung function impairment common in older asthma patients

Older adults with newly diagnosed asthma are not only more likely to have pre-existing lung function impairment than younger adults, but they also experience a more rapid decline of lung function, a Danish team reports in Respiratory Medicine. [More]
Pharmacy data ‘could reduce asthma treatment inequality’

Pharmacy data ‘could reduce asthma treatment inequality’

Research has found that the ratio of dispensed asthma controller to rescue medication at community pharmacies is associated with the need for emergency asthma treatment in paediatric patients. [More]
Hope For Heroes Foundation forms national alliance with USA Medical Card

Hope For Heroes Foundation forms national alliance with USA Medical Card

Hope For Heroes Foundation today announced the formation of a groundbreaking national alliance with USA Medical Card, a leading provider of free pharmacy discount cards. The new nationwide initiative benefiting Hope For Heroes will help fund programs that empower independence for our nation's disabled military veterans, police, firemen, and EMS professionals, and will help more people afford their prescriptions. [More]
Enterprise Therapeutics secures additional funding to accelerate drug discovery for treatment of respiratory diseases

Enterprise Therapeutics secures additional funding to accelerate drug discovery for treatment of respiratory diseases

ENTERPRISE THERAPEUTICS Ltd, a drug discovery company focused on new therapeutics for respiratory diseases, today announced that it has secured an additional £2.4m ($3.6m) in Series-A financing. [More]
SARIL-RA-TARGET trial: Sarilumab meets co-primary efficacy endpoints in RA patients

SARIL-RA-TARGET trial: Sarilumab meets co-primary efficacy endpoints in RA patients

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi announced today that a Phase 3 study of sarilumab, an investigational, fully human IL-6 receptor antibody, met its co-primary efficacy endpoints of a greater improvement in signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at 24 weeks and physical function at 12 weeks, compared to placebo. [More]
Children with asthma may benefit from peanut sensitivity test

Children with asthma may benefit from peanut sensitivity test

In recent years and months, peanut allergies in children have been in the news frequently, as scientists reveal new insights into why more and more children are developing them and what can be done to avoid them. [More]
New program helps reduce absenteeism among school children with asthma

New program helps reduce absenteeism among school children with asthma

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, and it can only be managed, not cured. It affects a disproportionally higher percentage of low-income, urban minority children, and is also the most common disease-related reason for children missing school. This can have a negative effect on their academic achievement, as well as later success in life. [More]
Pre-pregnancy maternal weight has significant impact on baby's immune system

Pre-pregnancy maternal weight has significant impact on baby's immune system

Almost 60 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States are overweight or obese. Obesity is a major public health issue, and has been linked to health problems like heart disease, cancer and hypertension. It can complicate pregnancy by increasing the mother's risk of having gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth or a baby with birth defects. Maternal obesity is also linked to several adverse health outcomes for the infant that can persist into adulthood, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and mortality. [More]
Men with a history of asthma less likely to have aggressive prostate cancer

Men with a history of asthma less likely to have aggressive prostate cancer

In what they are calling a surprising finding in a large study of men who completed questionnaires and allowed scientists to review their medical records, Johns Hopkins researchers report that men with a history of asthma were less likely than those without it to develop lethal prostate cancer. [More]
Asthma Ally app allows patients to connect with allergist's office for assistance

Asthma Ally app allows patients to connect with allergist's office for assistance

The adage, "There's an app for that" is even more true in light of an app that sends an alert to your allergist's office when your asthma may be out of control. [More]

Men with asthma less likely to develop lethal prostate cancer

Scientists found that men with a history of asthma were 29 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer that spread or to have died of their prostate cancer... [More]
GTEx findings reveal how genomic variants can affect gene activity and disease susceptibility

GTEx findings reveal how genomic variants can affect gene activity and disease susceptibility

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project have created a new and much-anticipated data resource to help establish how differences in an individual's genomic make-up can affect gene activity and contribute to disease. [More]
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