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ACAAI 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting
asthma abstract news briefs

Embargoed for Release                                                             Contact: Ashley Mattys
November 13, 2010                                                                                   312-558-1770

great news for asthma sufferers - Procedure helps maintain control
after laba withdrawal 

If you have severe persistent asthma, bronchial thermoplasty (BT) may help you stop taking long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) according to a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Phoenix, Nov. 11-16. This novel procedure delivers thermal energy to the airway wall to reduce airway constriction.

BT is approved in the U.S. for patients taking moderate to high dose inhaled corticosteroids and LABAs but who remain symptomatic. Participants with moderate to severe persistent asthma treated with BT sustained significant relief from symptoms when LABAs were withdrawn compared to those who had
not received BT. “This is great news for asthma sufferers since the FDA recently issued guidelines promoting the restricted use of LABAs whenever possible,” according to study authors.

Title: Bronchial Thermoplasty Benefits Patients Following Withdrawal of LABA Therapy

Lead Author: Curig O Prys-Picard, PhD

By the numbers:

More than 275 patients have undergone about 800 bronchial thermoplasty procedures since approval
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2010. Uncontrolled asthma accounts for approximately 500,000 hospitalizations, 217,000 emergency room visits and 10.5 million physician office visits every year. Studies show that people with asthma who see an allergist reduce their emergency room visits, hospital stays and doctor visits.


Obesity Linked with increased asthma risk in brooklyn

Asthma is reaching epidemic levels in the U.S., with 8 percent of the total population and 10 percent of the African-American population suffering from this disease. Obesity rates are also increasing, now affecting 34 percent of the population. A new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Phoenix, Nov. 11-16,  found that obese and super obese adults were significantly more likely to have asthma than normal weight or overweight (but not obese) adults. “An aggressive intervention for weight loss is an important adjunctive strategy for the treatment
of patients with asthma,” study authors say.

Title: Obesity and Super Obesity are Associated with Increased Risk of Asthma in an Inner City Population

Lead Author: Allergist Sara Fitzpatrick, MD ACAAI Member

Co-Authors;  Allergists Rauno Joks, MD, ACAAI Member and Arlene Schneider, MD, ACAAI Fellow

By the numbers:

Asthma increases the odds of healthcare use in obese people by 33 percent. Asthma prevalence is 20 percent higher in African Americans than in Caucasians. Consumers can take a simple online test to gauge their asthma symptoms and obtain a personalized plan on how to get relief at


mild asthma patients over-medicated

Researchers find inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonist (ICS/LABA) combination products are commonly used by patients with mild asthma, despite the lack of evidence or guidelines for such use.

A new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Phoenix, Nov. 11-16, found treatment with ICS/LABA combination therapy was associated with significantly higher asthma-related drug costs when compared to ICS therapy alone. Asthma-related medical costs, number of oral steroid claims per patient, and professional time billed to lung-related emergency department visits or hospitalizations are similar between treatment groups. “Findings confirm that ICS/LABA combination use is prevalent in mild asthma patients and is associated with increased asthma-related pharmacy and total healthcare costs with no observed benefit for patients,” reported the study’s authors.

Title: Overuse of Inhaled Corticosteroid and Long-Acting Beta Agonist Combination Therapy in Patients with Mild Asthma

Lead Author: Tom Manley, RPh

Co-Author:  Allergist Luis Salmun, MD, ACAAI Member

By the numbers:

Almost $20 billion is spent annually to treat asthma. Direct costs are $14.7 billion of that total and indirect cost such as lost productivity are $5 billion. Prescription drugs represent the largest single
direct medical expenditure related to asthma, over $6 billion. As asthma specialists, allergists have consistently shown they can provide effective, economical asthma treatment. (Reported in the ACAAI Asthma Management and the Allergist: Better Outcomes at Lower Cost.)


Landmark study shows suboptimal asthma care

Researchers assessed asthma burden and treatment practice in the U.S. based on results of the recently completed Asthma Insight and Management telephone survey in a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Phoenix, Nov. 11-16. The asthma survey, the most comprehensive in the U.S. in the past 10 years, reported 73 percent of patients experienced asthma symptoms or an asthma attack in the past 12 months, 63 percent were affected by asthma throughout the year, and 41 percent believed their asthma was interfering with their life. Authors conclude that “despite the availability of asthma management guidelines and effective asthma treatments, asthma care is inferior, underscoring the need for improved patient education and use of written action plans.”

Title: Patient-Reported Asthma Burden and Treatment Practice in the United States: Results of the Asthma Insight and Management Survey

Lead Author:  Eli O. Meltzer, MD, ACAAI Fellow

By the numbers:

An average of one out of 10 school-aged children has asthma and 13 million school days are missed each year. Asthma accounts for about 10.1 million missed work days for adults annually. About 70 percent of asthmatics also have allergies. Anyone with allergies and asthma should be able to feel
good, be active all day and sleep well at night. Allergists can identify the source of suffering and develop a treatment plan.

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