Thirty-one adult patients with asthma caused by house-dust mites (HDM) were included in this placebo-controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of specific immunotherapy (SIT) with biologically standardized extracts of HDM. The specific diagnosis was confirmed by skin prick tests, specific IgE, and bronchial provocation tests with HDM allergens. The patients were randomized to receive active treatment with extracts of either Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) or D. farinae (Dfa) (Alutard SQ, ALK, Denmark) or placebo injections. Twenty-three patients completed the study. After 1 year of treatment, we found a clinically important and significant reduction in both asthma medicine consumption (inhaled steroids 38% and beta 2-agonists 46%) and symptom score (57%) in the actively treated group, but not the placebo group. These findings were confirmed by a significant decrease in skin and bronchial sensitivity to HDM in the active group. Additionally, there was a significant difference in the patients' scores for effect in favor of the actively treated group. Total IgE and specific IgE to HDM showed no significant changes before and after treatment for either group. Spirometric lung-function measurements showed a significant increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) from 85% before to 89% of predicted values after treatment for the actively treated group. Peak-flow measurements at home showed no significant changes during the study. It is concluded that allergen SIT is an effective treatment in adult patients suffering from asthma due to HDM.
Several sets of Canadian guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma have been published over the past 15 years. Since the last revision of the 1999 Canadian Asthma Consensus Report, important new studies have highlighted the need to incorporate new information into the asthma guidelines.
To review the literature on adult asthma management published between January 2000 and June 2003; to evaluate the influence of the new evidence on the recommendations made in the 1999 Canadian Asthma Consensus Guidelines and its 2001 update; and to report new recommendations on adult asthma management.
Three specific topics for which new evidence affected the previous recommendations were selected for review: initial treatment of asthma, add-on therapies in the treatment of asthma and asthma education. The resultant reviews were discussed in June 2003 at a meeting under the auspices of the Canadian Thoracic Society, and recommendations for adult asthma management were reviewed.
The present report emphasises the importance of the early introduction of inhaled corticosteroids in symptomatic patients with mild asthma; stresses the benefit of adding additional therapy, preferably long-acting beta2-agonists, to patients incompletely controlled on low doses of inhaled corticosteroids; and documents the essential role of asthma education.
The present report generally supports many of the previous recommendations published in the 1999 Canadian Asthma Consensus Report and provides higher levels of evidence for a number of those recommendations.
To assess whether the utilization of inhaled short-acting beta(2)-agonists (ISAB) and inhaled long-acting beta(2)-agonists (ILAB) for the treatment of asthma was appropriate according to the 1996 Canadian Asthma Consensus Conference recommendations.
Population-based retrospective drug utilization review using pharmacists' billing data of the Prescription Drug Insurance Plan administered by the Quebec health insurance board. However, the database used did not contain complete patient clinical information to accurately assess severity of asthma.
Province of Quebec, Canada.
Persons who received at least one outpatient prescription of ISAB (age range, 5 to 45 years) or ILAB (age range, 12 to 45 years) for the treatment of asthma between August 1997 and April 1998.
Percentages of patients whose use was appropriate according to three criteria regarding the average daily dose of ISAB (criterion 1), the renewal interval of ILAB (criterion 2), and the concomitant daily use of corticosteroids for the expected length of utilization of ILAB (criterion 3).
Overall proportions of appropriate use according to criterion 1 were as follows: 75% (without inhaled corticosteroids [ICS]) and 84% and 43% (with one or more than one prescription of ICS, respectively). Appropriateness was slightly higher for female patients, younger patients (5 to 18 years old), and those treated by pediatricians. However, appropriateness was only 9% among patients who received at least two prescriptions of ISAB during the study period. The proportion of appropriate use was 19% according to criterion 2 and 15% according to criterion 3; there were few differences by gender or by age, but the appropriateness according to criterion 2 was somewhat higher for patients of respirologists.
Compared to the 1996 Canadian asthma consensus conference recommendations, ISAB are overused, ICS are underused, and ILAB are often used improperly. Close collaboration between health professionals and patients is essential to improve the pharmacotherapy of asthma.
1. We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study of asthma therapy among young adults to assess to what extent the current guidelines for asthma therapy have been implemented. In particular, we examined the use of inhaled corticosteroids in heavy users of inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonists. 2. Data were retrieved from a population-based prescription database. For each of the years 1991 and 1994, all 20 to 44-year-olds who redeemed anti-asthma medication in the Odense area (210,000 inhabitants) were studied. 3. We identified the number of users and total sales volume for specific anti-asthma medications in defined daily doses (DDD) as well as the number of users and median annual doses of common regimens. Combined use of inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonists was also described. 4. The annual sales volume of anti-asthma drugs increased by 23% to 927,636 DDD from 1991 to 1994. Inhaled corticosteroids were mainly responsible for this with a 52% increase in number of users and an 88% increase in DDD. Inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonists used in monotherapy remained the most popular regimen in 1994 (1685 users = 39%). Inhaled corticosteroids in combination with inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonist were the second most popular regimen in 1994 (1308 users = 30%), increasing by 64% as compared with 1991. However, among patients with an annual use of inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonist of 200 DDD (1600 "puffs') or more the percent of patients not receiving inhaled corticosteroids at all only fell from 37 to 33%. Though the number of patients being treated with inhaled corticosteroids has increased, there is still evidence of a substantial underuse.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between asthma, ear problems, and dental anxiety in children in a population-based cross-sectional study. The population included four municipalities in the County of North Jutland, Denmark, in 2001. A total of 1235 children aged 6-8 yr, and their parents, were identified. Data were obtained from a prescription database, from parental-answered questionnaires, and from dental records. Children with asthma were defined as children that had received prescriptions for both inhaled beta2-agonists and corticosteroids during the past year. Data on ear problems and dental anxiety were obtained from the questionnaires. Dental anxiety was measured using the Children's Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). Use of asthma-drugs was associated with dental anxiety (odds ratio = 1.70; 95% confidence interval 0.90-3.22). A history of often ear problems was also associated with dental anxiety (odds ratio = 1.83; 95% confidence interval 1.20-2.80). It is concluded that asthma and ear problems may be risk factors for dental anxiety in children.
A recurring epidemic of asthma exacerbations in children occurs annually in September in North America when school resumes after summer vacation.
Our goal was to determine whether montelukast, added to usual asthma therapy, would reduce days with worse asthma symptoms and unscheduled physician visits of children during the September epidemic.
A total of 194 asthmatic children aged 2 to 14 years, stratified according to age group (2-5, 6-9, and 10-14 years) and gender, participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the addition of montelukast to usual asthma therapy between September 1 and October 15, 2005.
Children randomly assigned to receive montelukast experienced a 53% reduction in days with worse asthma symptoms compared with placebo (3.9% vs 8.3%) and a 78% reduction in unscheduled physician visits for asthma (4 [montelukast] vs 18 [placebo] visits). The benefit of montelukast was seen both in those using and not using regular inhaled corticosteroids and among those reporting and not reporting colds during the trial. There were differences in efficacy according to age and gender. Boys aged 2 to 5 years showed greater benefit from montelukast (0.4% vs 8.8% days with worse asthma symptoms) than did older boys, whereas among girls the treatment effect was most evident in 10- to 14-year-olds (4.6% [montelukast] vs 17.0% [placebo]), with nonsignificant effects in younger girls.
Montelukast added to usual treatment reduced the risk of worsened asthma symptoms and unscheduled physician visits during the predictable annual September asthma epidemic. Treatment-effect differences observed between age and gender groups require additional investigation.
INTRODUCTION: The effect of ethnicity on the efficacy of salmeterol (S)+fluticasone propionate (FP) has not been examined in Japanese and Caucasian asthmatics. In this study, the efficacy of combination treatment with S and FP from a single inhaler (SFC) was compared with concurrent treatment with S and FP administration from separate inhalers (S+FP) in Japanese and Caucasian asthmatics. METHODS: This was a randomised, double-blind, crossover study in male and female Japanese (n=18) and Caucasian (n=17) asthmatics (50-100% predicted FEV(1); >35% reversibility in sGaw). Subjects received SFC (S 50 mcg/FP 250 mcg b.i.d.) and S+FP (S 50 mcg b.i.d.+FP 250 mcg b.i.d.) for 14 days. sGaw and FEV(1) were determined 0-12h after the first and last doses. RESULTS: Treatment with both SFC and S+FP produced marked bronchodilation, which was maintained 0-12h after the first dose. Baseline sGaw and FEV(1) increased up to 51% and 180 mL, respectively, in Japanese subjects over 2 weeks of treatment, with similar improvements in Caucasian subjects. On Day 14 the 0-12h S+FP:SFC treatment ratios (90% CI) for sGaw AUC and peak were 1.05 (0.98, 1.12) and 1.05 (0.97, 1.14), respectively, in Japanese subjects, and 0.99 (0.92, 1.07) and 0.98 (0.89, 1.07), respectively, in Caucasian subjects, with no difference between the two ethnic groups. CONCLUSIONS: The finding of a similar significant bronchodilator response in Japanese and Caucasian asthmatics following concurrent and combination treatment with salmeterol and FP suggests that the therapeutic response to these agents is comparable and independent of ethnicity in Japanese and Caucasian asthma patients.
Although evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) exist, emergency department (ED) asthma management remains highly variable. Our objective was to compare asthma management at a tertiary care ED with that advised by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians' (CAEP) asthma CPG and current best practice.
This medical record study enrolled patients between the ages of 19 and 60 years with a previous diagnosis of asthma who were seen for an acute asthma exacerbation at the Vancouver General Hospital ED in 2008. Standard methodology guidelines for medical record review were followed, including explicitly defined criteria and determination of interrater reliability. Primary outcomes were the proportion of cases with the following: objective assessment of severity using peak expiratory flow (PEF), use of systemic corticosteroids (SCSs) in the ED and at discharge, prescription for any inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), and documentation of outpatient follow-up.
A total of 204 patient encounters were enrolled. Kappa values for interrater assessment ranged from 0.93 to 1.00. Compliance with primary outcomes was as follows: measurement of PEF, 90% (95% CI 85-94); use of SCSs in the ED, 64% (95% CI 57-71); prescription of SCSs at discharge, 59% (95% CI 51-67); prescription of any ICS at discharge, 51% (95% CI 41-61); and documentation of outpatient follow-up, 78% (95% CI 71-84).
This study indicates an improvement in ED asthma care compared to previously published studies; however, discordance still exists between asthma management at a tertiary care ED and the CAEP asthma CPG and current best practice. Further research is warranted to understand the reasons for this finding.
OBJECTIVE: To analyse whether metabolic changes during long term treatment with antihypertensive drugs are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. DESIGN: Observational study. SETTING: Gothenburg, Sweden. SUBJECTS: 686 middle aged hypertensive men, recruited after screening of a random population sample, and followed for 15 years during treatment with predominantly beta adrenoceptor blockers or thiazide diuretics, or both. Coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus were registered at yearly patient examinations. Entry characteristics, as well as within study serum concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides and the development of diabetes mellitus, were related to the incidence of coronary heart disease in a time dependent Cox's regression analysis. MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLE: Coronary heart disease morbidity. RESULTS: Diabetes mellitus, raised serum cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations present at the beginning of the study were all significantly predictive of coronary heart disease in univariate analysis. The relative risk of diabetes mellitus and of a 1 mmol/l increase in the cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations was 2.12 (95% confidence interval 1.11 to 4.07), 1.21 (1.05 to 1.39), and 1.21 (1.03 to 1.43) respectively. However, when the within study metabolic variables were analysed, only the serum cholesterol concentration was significantly and independently associated with coronary heart disease (relative risk 1.07 (1.02 to 1.13)). Although the triglyceride concentrations increased slightly during the follow up, the within study serum triglyceride concentrations were not associated with the incidence of coronary heart disease (1.04 (0.96 to 1.10)). New diabetes mellitus-that is, onset during follow up-was not significantly associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease (1.48 (0.37 to 6.00)). CONCLUSIONS: Metabolic disturbances such as diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidaemia presenting before the start of antihypertensive treatment have a prognostic impact in middle aged, treated hypertensive men. Moreover, while within study cholesterol concentration was an independent predictor of coronary heart disease, drug related diabetes mellitus and raised serum triglyceride concentrations that are associated with treatment do not seem to have any major impact on the coronary heart disease prognosis in this category of patients.
Comment In: BMJ. 1997 Jan 18;314(7075):223-49022455