The findings of this research published on 30th November 2002 in The Lancet suggest that targeting the underlying cause of asthma—rather than treating symptoms of the disorder—could be more effective in reducing severe asthma attacks.
Asthma affects 5.1 million people in the UK and leads to an estimated 1,500 deaths per year, however current treatment methods, based on an assessment of symptoms and a measurement of lung function may not be the most effective.
Asthma is known to be associated with increased numbers of microscopic cells called eosinophils, in the airway. These can be detected by a simple sputum test and their numbers rise several weeks before an asthma attack. A groundbreaking study undertaken by Institute for Lung Health researchers Dr Ian Pavord and Dr Ruth Green assessed whether treatment which aimed to reduce the number of eosinophils reduced severe asthma attacks compared with conventional treatment.
Xan Whitfield-Grace | alfa
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