Mohammed O. Al Ghobain, Mohammed AlNemer and Mohammad Khan
Assessment of knowledge and education relating to asthma during pregnancy among women of childbearing age
Misconceptions about medications’ safety can lead pregnant women with asthma to stop their medications, resulting in asthma-related neonatal morbidity and mortality. Our aim was to assess the level of pregnancy-related asthma knowledge and education about asthma medications’ safety, among women of childbearing age with a history of bronchial asthma.
A cross-sectional survey of convenience sample of outpatient clinic attendees of Pulmonary, Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology among women of childbearing age with history of asthma at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Participants (n = 171) completed a questionnaire to determine levels of education and knowledge, as well as attitudes and practice relating to asthma treatment.
Among participants, 77.1% were pregnant at the time of the survey, 77.8% had used asthma medications during current or previous pregnancy, 70.8% of all respondents who ever been pregnant believed in the safety of asthma medications during pregnancy, 49.1% had received education about asthma, and 46.8% had been educated about the safety of asthma medications during pregnancy. Responses indicated that 46.8% had stopped (or expressed the desire to stop) asthma medications during pregnancy, and 48% believed asthma medications would harm them and their babies more than asthma itself, but 92.4% expressed that they would be willing to use asthma medications during pregnancy if their safety was confirmed by a physician. Education level and employment status were both associated with an increased likelihood of having received asthma education (p values <0.001 and <0.001 respectively), and with awareness of the safety of the medications during pregnancy (p values <0.001 and <0.003 respectively).
Further efforts is to be taken to develop a program where female asthmatic patients are taught about asthma and its medications’ safety during pregnancy.
New Article From Asthma Research and Practice
Microbiome and asthma
The mucosal immune system is in constant communication with the vast diversity of microbes present on body surfaces. The discovery of novel molecular mechanisms, which mediate host-microbe communication, have highlighted the important roles played by microbes in influencing mucosal immune responses. Dendritic cells, epithelial cells, ILCs, T regulatory cells, effector lymphocytes, NKT cells and B cells can all be influenced by the microbiome. Many of the mechanisms being described are bacterial strain- or metabolite-specific. Microbial dysbiosis in the gut and the lung is increasingly being associated with the incidence and severity of asthma. More accurate endotyping of patients with asthma may be assisted by further analysis of the composition and metabolic activity of an individual’s microbiome. In addition, the efficacy of specific therapeutics may be influenced by the microbiome and novel bacterial-based therapeutics should be considered in future clinical studies.
Identifying the hidden burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) in community pharmacy: a global phenomenon
Patients with allergic rhinitis often trivialise their condition, self-manage inappropriately, and would benefit from health care intervention. The primary point of health care contact for these self-managing allergic rhinitis patients is the community pharmacy. With the majority of allergic rhinitis treatments being available for purchase over the counter, without health care professional contact, we know little about how the patients self-manage. This study aims to identify the burden of allergic rhinitis in the community pharmacy and to identify key opportunity for intervention.
Pharmacy customers, who purchased nasal treatment in a community pharmacy, were approached with a research-administered questionnaire that collected data on medical history, symptoms and products purchased for the treatment of nasal symptoms.
Of the 296 participants, 69.9% self-managed with over-the-counter medications; with 68% experiencing allergic rhinitis symptoms and only 44.3% of this subgroup had a doctor’s diagnosis. Nasal congestion (73.6%) was most commonly experienced and oral antihistamines were most commonly purchased (44.3%), indicating a pattern of suboptimal management. A third of participants (36.5%) experienced moderate-severe symptoms, persistently, which impacted on their daily living. Medication selection was mainly based on pharmacy customers’ perceptions of medication effectiveness (47.6%).
A majority of participants that self-selected over-the-counter medications have symptoms consistent with allergic rhinitis, with almost half not having received a diagnosis. Medication purchasing patterns suggest that sub-optimal therapeutic decisions made by participants, even when they are experiencing significant symptoms. This study uncovers the hidden burden of allergic rhinitis in the community pharmacy and a missed opportunity to intervene and refer if necessary. Patients need to be guided through appropriate treatment as this study showed that many should be referred to a medical practitioner.
Non adherence to inhalational medications and associated factors among patients with asthma in a referral hospital in Ethiopia, using validated tool TAI
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways that affects roughly 358 million people globally. It is a serious global health problem with an increasing prevalence worldwide. Most people affected are in low- and middle-income countries including Ethiopia. The association between non -adherence and poor disease control is clearly stated in different literatures. The main objective of the present study was to assess self-reported non- adherence level and to identify the potential factors associated with non-adherence.
An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted in university of Gondar teaching and referral hospital. The data was collected using a validated tool called Test of Adherence to Inhalers (TAI).
Among the total of study participants, higher proportions of patients were female (57.3%). Large number of the respondents (59.1%) were Unable to read and write. 18.3% of inhalational user asthmatic patients were not adherent to inhalational medications. According to this study only 49.4% of the respondents were adherent to inhalations and 32.3% of them were intermediate adherent to inhalational anti asthmatics medications. Lack of education about the Proper use of inhalational anti-asthmatics medications, poly pharmacy and co-morbidities were statistically significant factors associated with non-adherence.
The rate of non-adherence to inhalational anti asthmatics is high. Therefore, promoting optimal medication adherences through education, proper patient consultation is essential to optimize the benefits of treatment. Measurement of the degree of non-adherence to inhaled treatment in each individual patient is important in early interventional practice.
Asthma Research and Practice
Aims and scope
Asthma Research and Practice is the official publication of Interasma and publishes cutting edge basic, clinical and translational research in addition to hot topic reviews and debate articles relevant to asthma and related disorders (such as rhinitis, COPD overlapping syndrome, sinusitis). The journal has a specialized section which focusses on pediatric asthma research.
Asthma Research and Practice aims to serve as an international platform for the dissemination of research of interest to pulmonologists, allergologists, primary care physicians and family doctors, ENTs and other health care providers interested in asthma, its mechanisms and comorbidities.
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Articles in Asthma Research and Practice should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.
Article citations follow this format:
Authors: Title. Asthma Res Prac [year], [volume number]:[article number].
e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Asthma Res Prac 2009, 1:115. refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.
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Ambient ozone and asthma hospital admissions in Texas: a time-series analysis
Many studies have evaluated associations between asthma emergency department (ED) visits, hospital admissions (HAs), and ambient ozone (O3) across the US, but not in Texas. We investigated the relationship between O3 and asthma HAs, and the potential impacts of outdoor pollen, respiratory infection HAs, and the start of the school year in Texas.
We obtained daily time-series data on asthma HAs and ambient O3 concentrations for Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas for the years 2003–2011. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of asthma HAs per 10-ppb increase in 8-h maximum O3 concentrations were estimated from Poisson generalized additive models and adjusted for temporal trends, meteorological factors, pollen, respiratory infection HAs, day of the week, and public holidays. We conducted a number of sensitivity analyses to assess model specification.
We observed weak associations between total asthma HAs and O3 at lags of 1 day (RR10 ppb = 1.012, 95% CI: 1.004–1.021), 2 days (RR10 ppb = 1.011, 95% CI: 1.002–1.019), and 0–3 days (RR10 ppb = 1.017, 95% CI: 1.005–1.030). The associations were primarily observed in children aged 5–14 years (e.g., for O3 at lag 0–3 days, RR10 ppb = 1.037, 95% CI: 1.011–1.064), and null in individuals 15 years or older. The effect estimates did not change significantly with adjustment for pollen and respiratory infections, but they attenuated considerably and lost statistical significance when August and September data were excluded. A significant interaction between time around the start of the school year and O3 at lag 2 day was observed, with the associations with pediatric asthma HAs stronger in August and September (RR10 ppb = 1.040, 95% CI: 1.012–1.069) than in the rest of the year (October–July) (RR10 ppb = 1.006, 95% CI: 0.986–1.026).
We observed small but statistically significant positive associations between total and pediatric asthma HAs and short-term O3 exposure in Texas, especially in August and September. Further research is needed to determine how the start of school could modify the observed association between O3 and pediatric asthma HAs.
Associations between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and prevalent asthma among children living in communities with differing levels of urbanization: a cross-sectional study
Prior evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of asthma and atopy and impair pulmonary function in children.
In this cross-sectional analysis nested in a case-control study, we analyzed serum 25(OH)D concentrations in 413 children with asthma and 471 children without asthma living in two geographically adjacent study communities (Pampas and Villa El Salvador). We measured total and antigen-specific IgE levels, pulmonary function, asthma control, and exhaled nitric oxide.
Mean 25(OH)D concentrations were 25.2 ng/mL (SD 10.1) in children with asthma and 26.1 ng/mL (SD 13.7) in children without asthma (p = 0.28). Vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 20 ng/ml) was more common in Pampas than in Villa El Salvador (52.7% vs. 10.5%; p < 0.001). In the overall study population, a 10 ng/ml decrease in serum 25(OH)D concentrations was not significantly associated with odds of asthma (OR 1.09, 95% CI: 0.94 to 1.25). However, vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 1.6-fold increase in odds of asthma in the overall cohort (95% CI: 1.14 to 2.25). After stratifying by site, a 10 ng/mL decrease in serum 25(OH)D concentrations was associated with 18% higher odds of having asthma in Pampas (OR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.38), whereas there was no significant association between 25(OH)D concentrations and asthma in Villa El Salvador (OR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.05). Combined data from these geographically adjacent populations suggests a possible threshold for the relationship between 25(OH)D levels and asthma at approximately 27.5 ng/ml. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not clearly associated with asthma control, total serum IgE, atopy, or airway inflammation.
Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were inversely associated with asthma in one study community with a high prevalence of deficiency. Studies are needed to investigate a possible threshold 25(OH)D concentration after which higher vitamin D levels show no further benefit for asthma.
Asthma: epidemiology of disease control in Latin America – short review
REVIEW - OPEN ACCESS
Asthma is reported as one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood, impairing the quality of life of patients and their families and incurring high costs to the healthcare system and society. Despite the development of new drugs and the availability of international treatment guidelines, asthma is still poorly controlled, especially in Latin America. Original and review articles on asthma control or epidemiology with high levels of evidence have been selected for analysis among those published in PubMed referenced journals during the last 20 years, using the following keywords: “asthma control” combined with “Latin America”, ” epidemiology”, “prevalence”, “burden”, “mortality”, “treatment and unmet needs”, “children”, “adolescents”, and “infants”. There was a high prevalence and severity of asthma during the period analyzed, especially in children and adolescents. Wheezing in infants was a significant reason for seeking medical care in Latin American health centers. Moreover, the frequent use of quick-relief bronchodilators and oral corticosteroids by these patients indicates the lack of a policy for providing better care for asthmatic patients, as well as poor asthma control. Among adults, studies document poor treatment and control of the disease, as revealed by low adherence to routine anti-inflammatory medications and high rates of emergency care visits and hospitalization. In conclusion, although rare, studies on asthma control in Latin America repeatedly show that patients are inadequately controlled and frequently overestimate their degree of asthma control according to the criteria used by international asthma treatment guidelines. Additional education for doctors and patients is essential for adequate control of this illness, and therefore also for reduction of the individual and social burden of asthma.