Asthma affects a significant proportion of elderly patients, but unfortunately, it is responsible for a high asthma-related morbidity and mortality in this population. This may be related not only to the development of a more severe asthma phenotype compared to younger patients, with more marked airway obstruction and a more neutrophilic type of airway inflammation, but also to the presence of many co-morbid conditions. Furthermore, in older patients, asthma is often under-diagnosed, undertreated and poorly managed. Unfortunately, elderly patients have usually been excluded of clinical trials on asthma and there is an urgent need to perform more research on the optimal management of asthma in this population.
Table of Contents
Significant achievements have been accomplished in the last few years to better understanding what is asthma, how it should be assessed in regard to control and severity and what is its optimal therapy. Unfortunately these improvements in our understanding of the disease have not always translated into better asthma management.
The 2016 World Congress on Asthma in Madrid will review the key findings from recent research on both adult and pediatric Asthma and how knowledge translation methods have evolved to better integrate research findings into care.
The origins and determinants of Asthma, triggers and inducers, the new insight gained on the role of allergy, environmental and biodiversity changes, workplace hazards, respiratory infections andvarious aspects of assessment of the disease are among the topics that will be covered by world experts. The role of phenotyping/endotyping Asthma, particularly when severe, and new therapeutic current and future advances will be covered.
A significant part of the meeting will be devoted to practical workshops on asthma testing and treatment delivery, as we'll as the integration of practice tools into day-to-day care. Sessions will discuss how to optimize the multidisciplinary approach to asthma management.
We and the members of the scientific advisory board the impressive program of WCA-2016 will be of interest to all those involved in research and care of asthma.
|G. Walter Canonica||Lawrence DuBuske||Louis-Philippe Boulet||Ralph Mösges|
on behalf of the Scientific Programme Committee –WCA 2016 Madrid INTERASMA
Alida Benfante and Nicola Scichilone
Historically, asthma has been envisioned as a disease of younger ages. This has led to the assumption that respiratory symptoms suggestive of asthma occurring in older ages are to be attributed to conditions other than asthma, mainly COPD. Old observational reports and new epidemiological studies confirm that asthma is as frequent in older as it is in younger populations. Nevertheless, under-recognition, misdiagnosis and under-treatment are still relevant issues. The characterization of asthma in the aged suffers from the fact that there has been very little original research in this field. Indeed, geriatric asthma is often excluded from clinical trials because of age and comorbidities. The current review paper revises the areas that need to be elucidated, and highlights the gaps in the management of this condition. It follows that a multidimensional management is advocated for elderly asthmatics to evaluate the severity and establish the complexity of the disease. We suggest that the term “geriatric” asthma should be preferred to “senile” asthma, which is confined to the age-related changes in the lung, or the more generic “asthma in the elderly”, which is only descriptive of the prevalence in specific age groups.
In asthma, exacerbations and poor disease control are linked to airway allergic inflammation. Serum periostin has been proposed as a systemic biomarker of eosinophilic inflammation. This pilot study aims at evaluating whether in patients with moderate asthma, higher baseline levels of serum periostin are associated with a greater risk of exacerbation.
Fifteen outpatients with moderate allergic asthma were recruited. Serum concentrations of periostin were assessed (ELISA) at baseline, and the frequency of asthma exacerbations was recorded during a one-year follow-up.
Patients (M/F: 10/5, mean age of 47.6 ± 11.0 years) had mean ACQ score of 5.5 ± 4.2 and FEV1%pred of 81.9 ± 21.7 %. Baseline serum levels of periostin did not correlate with lung function parameters, nor with the ACQ score (p ≥0.05 for all analyses). Five subjects (33 % of the study group) reported one or more exacerbations during the following year. Baseline serum levels of periostin were significantly higher in subjects who experienced one or more exacerbations during the one year period of follow-up, compared with subjects with no exacerbations: median serum periostin level was 4047 ng/ml (range: 2231 to 4889 ng/ml) and 222 ng/ml (range 28.2 to 1631 ng/ml) respectively; p = 0.001.
The findings of the present pilot study could form the basis for the design of larger studies aiming at developing strategies to identify asthmatic patients at risk for exacerbations.
Globally, an estimated 300 million people have asthma, presenting a considerable and increasing burden of disease for healthcare systems, families, and patients themselves. Despite two decades of guidelines, asthma seems to remain not optimally controlled in a substantial proportion of people. The achievement of asthma control is the result of the interaction among different variables concerning the disease pattern and patients’ and physicians’ knowledge and behavior. It is well known that adherence to treatment increases in parallel to patient education. There is now a growing interest in the use of digital information technologies to promote asthma control and improve outcomes. Mobile health, or mHealth, refers to mobile devices, medical sensors, and communication technologies that can enhance chronic disease care and monitoring. Aim of this review was to evaluate the web resources nowadays available and to analyze the published studies about the web-based instruments used to improve asthma knowledge, control asthma outcomes. In general, studies revealed that the technology is well accepted. Interactive asthma technology may be, in addition, of help in reaching populations difficult to reach, such as inner city populations. The number of tools and apps available continues to increase, and agencies such as the FDA, become involved in their regulation, thus the mHealth landscape will continue to evolve. Although asthma tools and apps have great potential to improve care for asthma, the proof of data reproducibility, the demonstration of effectiveness, and the privacy issues still represent the major technical problems.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common life-limiting genetic disease among African Americans, affecting more than 100,000 people in the United States. Respiratory disorders in patients with sickle cell disease have been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Associations between asthma and pain, acute chest syndrome (ACS), and even death have long been reported. More recently wheezing, even in the absence of an asthma diagnosis, has gained attention as a possible marker of SCD severity. Several challenges exist with regards to making the diagnosis of asthma in patients with SCD, including the high prevalence of wheezing, evidence of airway obstruction on pulmonary function testing, and/or airway hyperresponsiveness among patients with SCD. These features often occur in isolation, in the absence of other clinical criteria necessary for an asthma diagnosis. In this review we will summarize: 1) Our current understanding of the epidemiology of asthma, wheezing, airway obstruction, and airway responsiveness among patients with SCD; 2) The evidence supporting associations with SCD morbidity; 3) Our understanding of the pathophysiology of airway inflammation in SCD; 4) Current approaches to diagnosis and management of asthma in SCD; and 5) Future directions.
The official journal of Interasma
According to national and international guidelines, achieving and maintaining asthma control is a major goal of disease management. In closely controlled clinical trials, good asthma control can be achieved , with the medical treatments currently available, in the majority of patients , but large population-based studies suggest that a significant proportion of patients in real-life setting experience suboptimal levels of asthma control and report lifestyle limitations with a considerable burden on quality of life. Poor treatment adherence and persistence, failure to use inhalers correctly, heterogeneity of asthma phenotypes and associated co-morbidities are the main contributing factors to poor disease control. Now, it is widely accepted that peripheral airway dysfunction , already present in patients with mild asthma, is a key contributor of worse control. The aim of this paper is to investigate the association between small-airways dysfunction and asthma symptoms/control. We therefore performed a PubMed search using keywords : small airways; asthma (limits applied: Humans, English language) and selected papers with a study population of asthmatic patients, reporting measurement of small-airways parameters and clinical symptoms/control.
Call for Abstracts
Deadline November 30, 2015
As the deadline is fast approaching, we kindly invite you to submit an abstract, for the XXIII World Congress of Asthma / WCA-2016 in Madrid, by Monday November 30, 2015 at 23.59h (GMT).
To submit an abstract electronically please click here: www.wca-2016.com/submission.
For further details on abstracts & the online submission please click here: www.wca-2016.com/abstracts.