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Asthma

Very poorly controlled asthma lasts more than a decade for half of patients

Ten-year follow up of 341 patients shows 48% still had VPC asthma despite standard treatment.

Micrograph showing obstruction of the lumen of the bronchiole and severe inflammation of bronchiole taken from a person with asthma

Source: Yale Rosen / Wikimedia Commons

Asthma causes airway obstruction (pictured) and very poorly controlled disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among patients 

Patients with very poorly controlled (VPC) asthma are in a minority, but account for a large proportion of the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. 

In 2001, researchers initiated an epidemiological study, known as TENOR I, that looked at 4,756 patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma from the United States over a three-year period. 

The team assessed 341 patients from the original study more than ten years later (TENOR II). They found that, despite standard treatment, 48% of these patients still had VPC asthma. Factors that predicted persistent VPC asthma included current or past smoking, black race and recent corticosteroid use. 

The researchers, who presented their results at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on 15–18 May 2016[1], say that alternative treatment strategies and helping patients to quit smoking could improve the asthma control of these patients.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201194

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Supplementary images

  • Micrograph showing obstruction of the lumen of the bronchiole and severe inflammation of bronchiole taken from a person with asthma

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