Age at Onset and Inflammatory Cells Define Patient Subsets, Guide Treatment
People who develop asthma as children may have a different disease than those who develop it as an adult. A study in the January issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology adds to the growing body of evidence that asthma is not a single disease, but a group of syndromes with different origins and biological characteristics. The research team, led by Sally Wenzel, M.D., a pulmonologist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, also found that the absence or presence of inflammatory cells, called eosinophils, helped distinguish differences among asthma patients.
"We found that patients whose asthma began in childhood were more frequently allergic than those whose asthma began as adults, while adult-onset asthma was associated with more rapid loss of lung function," said Wenzel. "We were surprised to find that many patients showed no signs of inflammation, generally considered a hallmark of the asthma, yet they still had severe airflow limitation and many asthma symptoms."
William Allstetter | NJMRC
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