2008-05-06

Making a Real Difference to the Lives of Asthma Patients


Southampton, England (ots/PRNewswire) -

- Leading Asthma Expert Calls for Action

On the occasion of World Asthma Day on 6 May, leading asthmaexpert Professor Stephen Holgate from the University of Southampton(UK) says: "I am delighted that the theme of this year's World AsthmaDay 'You Can Control Your Asthma' sends out such a positive message.Indeed, with personalised disease management asthma can be controlledin the great majority of asthma patients."

Professor Holgate explains: "Asthma is a complex multi-factorialcondition and as such specific patient profiles need to be taken intoaccount to determine the optimal treatment. This is most clearly seenin children with asthma. Asthma is a different disease in childrenthan in adults, and the ongoing growth and maturation of organsaffects both the disease course of asthma and the efficacy ofmedications. Consequently, treatment suitable for adults may not besuccessful in children."

The need for better asthma management lies at the heart of theBrussels Declaration, a ten-point action plan to make asthma apolitical and medical priority. The Brussels Declaration wasdeveloped by leading asthma experts, together with EU policymakers,regulators and patient groups attending the 'Summit for Change inAsthma Management',(1) which took place in the European Parliament on18-19 October 2006. The Summit highlighted the new understanding ofasthma as a systemic inflammatory disease which affects more thanjust the lungs, and the vital need to control inflammation.

Professor Stephen Holgate says: "It is regrettable that thelatest scientific understanding of asthma as a systemic disease isnot reflected in regulatory and clinical guidance. This is forexample true for the EMEA (European Medicines Agency) RegulatoryGuidance Note on Asthma, which needs to better reflect the real-worldpatients that we all see as clinicians. As it stands, the currentNote is markedly out of date, holding back research and thuspreventing advancements that would guide treatment decisions for manyimportant groups of patients. An update of the Guidance Note wascalled for in the Brussels Declaration. We must act on this and theother points of the Declaration if we are to make a real differenceto the lives of asthma patients."

Asthma is a respiratory manifestation of systemic inflammatoryprocesses, which is increasing throughout the world in all agegroups, particularly children. Approximately 300 million peoplearound the world have asthma and around 30 million people in Europehave asthma.(2) The disease exerts a significant health economicburden on society, with an annual cost of 17.7 billion Euros acrossEurope alone.(3) 95% of asthma is controllable given access toappropriate medical care.(4)

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(1) Further information about the Summit for Change in AsthmaManagement and the Brussels Declaration can be found at:http://www.summitforchange.eu/

(2) European Federation of the Allergy and Airway DiseasesPatients Association (EFA). Available at http://www.efanet.org

(3) http://www.efanet.org

(4) World Health Organization. Let Everybody Breathe: WorldAsthma Day. Available at:http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-29.html

ots Originaltext: AAIR (Asthma, Allergy & Inflammation Research)Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Contact:For further information please contact: Sarah Watts, Media Relations Manager, University of Southampton, +44(0)23-8059-3807, S.A.Watts@soton.ac.uk; Professor Stephan Holgate, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life sciences, University of Southampton, +44(0)23-8079-6960, s.holgate@soton.ac.uk

AAIR (Asthma, Allergy & Inflammation Research)

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Making a Real Difference to the Lives of Asthma Patients

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