Severe asthma is a disease that is still considered low and uncontrolled



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Highlighting the importance of controlling severe asthma through multidisciplinary management and the impact of disease on patients' daily lives has been one of the main challenges discussed during a workshop for journalists held today at the Fundación Jiménez University Hospital Díaz, and it has relied on AstraZeneca collaboration.

"At present, an estimated 145,000 patients suffer from severe asthma in Spain," Dr. María Jesús Rodríguez Nieto, head of the Pneology Services association and member of the Asma Multidisciplinary Unit (UMA) of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation, one of four specialists who have taught workshops. "Severe asthma is a known disease but is considered low in terms of low perceptions of possible severity," he said, adding that "we cannot say that asthma is a controlled disease, because it produced 1,118 deaths in 2017, according to National Institute of Statistics (INE) and this figure is higher than 2016.

On the other hand, for Dr. Mar Fernández Nieto, physician assistant of Allergy Services, a member of the UMA and the Respiratory Network Research Center (CIBERES) of the Health Research Institute of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation (IIS-FJD)), "Apart from multiple and modern treatments, patients are still out of control, because there is underdiagnosis and supradiagnosis in asthma and, if suspicion is minimal, the patient needs to be studied by a specialist. " And currently, 3.9 percent of asthma patients have severe uncontrolled asthma. Therefore, Dr. Fernández Nieto has highlighted the need for proper diagnosis and treatment in the population of children with suspected asthma: "if asthma is not controlled at an early stage, lung function is lost, which is very important and dangerous such as having high cholesterol."

Contributions to the Astidisciplinary Asthma Unit for patients

In order for patients with severe asthma to be evaluated more comprehensively by various experts, the Jiménez Díaz Foundation has an Asma Multidisciplinary Unit, one of the reference units in Spain. During the training carried out today, journalists had the opportunity to visit it, together with experts responsible for it, to find out the benefits it brings to patients suffering from this pathology and to be closer to their day-to-day.

In addition, journalists present have been able to see firsthand how bronchial prophylactic cameras work, stress tests and hyperventilation, among others. In this sense, Dr. Nicolás González Mangado, head of the Hospital's Pneumology Services, principal investigator, head of the CIBERES group and UMA coordinator, said that, thanks to him, "You can learn more about this type. Asthma and triggers, using more complex complementary techniques. This allows us more individualized and effective treatment. "He also noted that" it offers a faster and more personalized set of decompensation evaluations and controls. "

Increases the impact on the patient's daily life

According to Dr. Fernández Nieto, fatigue, persistent coughing, and wheezing are the main symptoms of asthma. In severe asthma these symptoms are more frequent and the main characteristic is "they cannot be controlled with the usual asthma medication," he said.

"These daily symptoms interfere with your normal life," Dr. Rodríguez Nieto. According to one study, normal daily activities are affected more than once a week for 91 percent of patients with uncontrolled asthma compared to 0 percent of those who suffer from controlled diseases. These people need to take medication chronically, which is important they obey. "Another aspect that affects daily life in an important way is the period of worsening disease, which sometimes requires hospital admission," said pulmonologists. It is estimated that the number of hospitalizations per year is about ten times greater among people with uncontrolled asthma than among patients with controlled asthma.

Advantages of a multidisciplinary medical model

Finally, for Dr. Victoria del Pozo Abejón, senior researcher at IIS-FJD, principal researcher CIBERES, professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and a member of UMA, "a multidisciplinary medical model provides great benefits for patients, because it facilitates the integration of knowledge and approaches to this pathology with a comprehensive perspective , especially now that we are in a new stage in dealing with asthma that is getting closer and closer to precision medicine. "

Immunology, on the other hand, "contributes fundamentally to the patient phenotype and in biomarker studies, and this allows – and will allow – adequate treatment for patients with asthma," said the expert.

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