News / Health

    New Study Could Change Treatment for Asthma

    Registered nurse Darlene Martin, from Santa Monica, California, reaches for her asthma inhaler, March 1998. (file photo)Registered nurse Darlene Martin, from Santa Monica, California, reaches for her asthma inhaler, March 1998. (file photo)
    x
    Registered nurse Darlene Martin, from Santa Monica, California, reaches for her asthma inhaler, March 1998. (file photo)
    Registered nurse Darlene Martin, from Santa Monica, California, reaches for her asthma inhaler, March 1998. (file photo)
    Carol Pearson
    Global treatment guidelines for asthma could change as a result of a study led by a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

    Most adults who have mild or moderate asthma are told to use their inhalers twice daily, even if they don't have symptoms. The medicine in those inhalers are corticosteroids, which open a person's airways and decrease mucus so it's easier to breathe. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most common and the most effective form of therapy for asthma.

    With asthma, the airways of the lungs become inflamed and swollen. It's triggered by a wide range of factors, some genetic, some environmental. Dust, air pollution or smoke can set off an asthma attack. Change of seasons when there are a lot of particles in the air can also trigger an attack.

    Frank Grizzaffi knows this routine well.

    “There was a regime that I was supposed to follow, it was two puffs in the morning and two puffs in the evening,” said Grizzaffi.

    That was before Grizzaffi participated in a study that involved 10 academic centers and more than 300 adults with mild to moderate asthma.

    The doctors evaluated the patients and determined the lowest possible dose of medication that would control their asthma. Dr. William Calhoun led the study.

    “The amount of corticosteroid that a patient received during the trial was dependent upon the amount of symptoms they had. When they had fewer symptoms they got less steroid, when they had more symptoms they got more steroid,” he said.

    After adjusting medication, doctors looked at three different ways of treating the patients.

    One group received their adjusted dose of steroids and took them as usual. Another group had their steroid levels adjusted after taking sophisticated breath tests for asthma and a third group was told to use inhalers only when their symptoms flared up.

    What they found was that patients in this last group did just as well as those in the other two groups. The major difference is they only used half as much medication.  

    “The symptoms-based arm resulted in a reduced use of inhaled corticosteroids, a 50 percent reduction. It also resulted in a reduction in exacerbation in the autumn, a time when exacerbation are typically high and it also resulted in a reduction in absenteeism from school or work,” said Calhoun.

    These findings could change international standards of care. It would reduce costs because patients would need less medication and it would also limit long-term exposure to corticosteroids.

    Under his doctor's care, Frank Grizzaffi no longer needs to follow his old regimen.

    “I’ll take one puff in the morning and that usually takes care of it the rest of the day. I feel great, I feel really good,” he said.
     
    Dr. Calhoun advises patients with mild to moderate asthma to check with their doctors to see if this strategy might work for them. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rand Watters from: Maine
    October 22, 2012 10:01 AM
    I would imagine it is beneficial that a scientifically-controlled study to confirm what has long been a common-sense practice among adult asthmatics and their physicians. I began the "as needed" use of inhaled corticosteroids a year following the debut of Singulair. I always need the inhalant during ragweed pollen season in October and when leaves are falling. Sometimes I also need it in mid- to late-Spring. It's far better than when we only had Theodur and prednisone tabs (or worse, the grossly overdosing via Medrol dosepaks).
    Glad to know the halls of academe have caught up with the field practice that has been in place for more than a decade.

    by: H.Dr.Muhammad Naeem from: Pakistan,Karachi
    October 20, 2012 10:51 AM
    I would like to say that during practice I noted that such patients if they have no any tension, no any symptoms of asthma seen him they remain normal and does not take medicines.One person came to my clinic and told me that I am not a asthma patient but when I suppose that I have been died and in grave, so I can not take breathe normally.Environments etc, are others matter we can not count in symptoms.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora