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World Asthma Day

Severe asthma is a disease entity that can be successfully treated on an outpatient basis

MedExpress Team

Published May 6, 2024 11:00

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Approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with up to 4 million in Poland. If unrecognized or inadequately treated, the disease can lead to the development of a severe form. In our country, 35-40 thousand patients suffer from severe asthma, which is why education is so important. Awareness building is served by the World Asthma Day, established by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), which is celebrated every first Tuesday in May. This year it falls on May 7.

Building awareness of the disease involves providing the public and patients with knowledge about available forms of diagnosis and treatment. Despite the operation of the B.44 drug program "Treatment of severe forms of asthma" in Poland for more than 10 years, only about 10 percent of patients are able to benefit from modern biological therapy. Specialists have identified the main barriers to type accessibility: the program's inclusion criteria, as well as organizational and financial challenges, including the underpricing of health services. This makes it very difficult to shift patient care to outpatient clinics, with the possibility of dedicating medication to patients at home.

Typical asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Of the 4 million people who show features of asthma in epidemiological studies, i.e. have at least two of the listed symptoms at the same time, 2 million are treated. This means that as many as half of the patients do not have a diagnosis and are not properly treated.

- In Poland, we wait more than 7 years for asthma to be diagnosed. During this time, inflammation within the respiratory system, which gives occasional shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, leads to progressive remodeling of the bronchial mucosa and exacerbation of the disease. Patients with severe asthma are those who, despite taking high doses of inhaled steroids and other bronchodilators, still do not have control of the disease, says Dr. Piotr Dabriecki, an allergologist at the Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Allergology at the Military Medical Institute (WIM) in Warsaw, chairman of the Polish Federation of Associations of Asthma, Allergy and COPD Patients.

Although the average time to diagnosis of the disease in the European Union is twice as short, the need to raise global awareness of asthma is still so important that GINA has established the first Tuesday in May as World Asthma Day. This year, the celebration falls on May 7 and is dedicated to the need for education.

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astma / alergia

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