Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Non-responding asthma patients may have different form of the disease

About half of asthma patients may have a different form of the disease which doesn’t respond to some common medications that work for other patients. That’s the finding of a recent study that looked at nearly 1,000 asthma patients.

Many current asthma treatments work in part by using anti-inflammatories to fight eosinophilic airway inflammation. But the researchers found that almost half of the patients in the study don’t have the condition.

Only 17% of those who used the inhaled steroids (an anti-inflammatory) had the condition, while 36% of those not taking inhaled steroids did.

Further study and treatment with inhaled steroids indicated that patients who had the condition responded  and experienced better airflow, but those without the condition saw no improvement. Patient response to treatment with bronchodilators which help open the bronchial tubes were similar in both groups.

Unfortunately, the tests to determine if a particular asthma patient is likely to respond to inhaled steroids isn’t feasible to do in a clinical setting.

The researchers said that many patients with mild to moderate asthma have a type of disease with a mechanism we don’t full understand and that will require new types of treatments.

The report was published by American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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