Medication May Not Prevent Asthma Attacks, Study Shows
A recent article from Forbes discusses findings from a study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The study was investigating whether or not the issue of asthma attacks was or was not related to daily use of inhaled medications
The study, which included 295 people over age 12, tested for levels of eosinophils in participants’ sputum. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell seen in high numbers in patients with environmental allergies and asthma, and tend to be a marker for inflammatory types of asthma, which typically respond well to inhaled steroids.
It was found that nearly 75% of subjects had very low eosinophil counts, and that these individuals had no difference in response to long term inhaled steroids versus inhaled placebo.
The findings have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The standard recommendations for mild asthma management have traditionally included inhaled steroids. A recent study raises the issue that this may not be necessary for many patients.
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