2018 30 GEN
Type of content: news
Communicative register:
Focus area: Physicians

Characterization and exacerbation risk of a general asthma population

The first description of the UK’s general asthma population includes factors associated with the risk of exacerbations. 

Most studies have been focused on patients with severe asthma, while few studies have evaluated the characteristics of a general asthma population. A recent population-based cohort study described for the first time the characteristics of the UK’s general asthma population, founding four generations of patients. Over 60% of the total study population (424.326 eligible patients) had mild asthma. Atopy prevalence was highest in youngest subjects (age exacerbation rates were highest in the “0 to 5y” and in the “55+”cohorts and lowest in the “5 to 17y” cohort. In all patients, exacerbation rates increased with increasing asthma severity; this association was particularly significant in childhood. For all the cohorts, the majority of exacerbations were treated within primary care.
The results of this epidemiological study are very interesting with respect to the management of chronic diseases such as asthma that requires different diagnostic and therapeutic approaches within different ages. This is mainly compelling with regard to more vulnerable subjects such as children and the elderly, which were founded to be affected from the most severe and uncontrolled levels of disease.

Bloom CI, et al. Exacerbation risk and characterisation of the UK's asthma population from infants to old age. Thorax. 2017 Oct 26. pii: thoraxjnl-2017-210650. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2017-210650. [Epub ahead of print]

Article by Giuliana Ferrante