ASTHMA-RELATED COMORBIDITIES

FCAAIA Notes: There are many and varied conditions related to asthma. For some, there is a “chicken and egg” question. That is, which came first? In many cases it does not matter because each exacerbates the other and both require treatment. The first section of this review addresses the most common condition related to asthma: Rhinitis. In fact, allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies) and asthma are essentially the same disease, affecting opposite ends of a single, unified airway. Discuss with your allergist if conditions other than asthma might be contributing to your symptoms, especially if you do not feel well-controlled.

(Source: http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/744555 June 24, 2011)

ABSTRACT: Asthma is often associated with various comorbidities. The most frequently reported asthma comorbid conditions include rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, obstructive sleep apnea, hormonal disorders and psychopathologies. These conditions may, first: share a common pathophysiological mechanism with asthma; second: influence asthma control, its phenotype and response to treatment; and third: be more prevalent in asthmatic patients but without obvious influence on this disease. For many of these, how they interact with asthma remains to be further documented, particularly for severe asthma. If considered relevant, they should, however, be treated appropriately. Further research is needed on the relationships between these conditions and asthma.

INTRODUCTION: Asthma is a common airway inflammatory disorder characterized by variable airway obstruction and hyperresponsiveness. Asthma is of variable severity and is increasingly recognized as a condition presenting as various phenotypes. Asthma control is the main goal of therapy and is achieved when the disease results in minimal or no symptoms, normal sleep and activities, and optimal pulmonary function. Such control can be obtained with patient education, avoidance of environmental triggers, individualized pharmacotherapy and regular follow-up.

Numerous comorbidities can be associated with asthma and influence its clinical expression, although their specific influence remains to be characterized. They are, however, increasingly recognized as important factors to document in asthma patients as they may influence disease management and control.

Among the most frequently contributing comorbid conditions reported in asthmatic patients are rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), hormonal disorders and psychopathologies, although other conditions, sometimes without an evident link with asthma, have been found to be highly prevalent in asthmatic patients. Indeed, analyses of large databases have shown an increased prevalence of a variety of conditions in asthmatic patients, which either influence or do not influence asthma outcomes. These large-scale analyses may, however, be biased due to contamination with, for example, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other conditions.

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