February 22, 2012 by EStella.
Filed under: Asthma Research, Asthma Treatment.
Tags: asthma links, asthma medications, asthma treatment, asthma attack, rescure medications, asthma prescriptions, asthma inhaler, metered-dose asthma inhaler, powder asthma inhaler.
The researchers studied the medical records of 12 million Ontario residents, and discovered that asthma is linked to a host of medical issues including other respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bone and joint injuries including osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, and psychiatric ailments like anxiety and depression. “Asthma is not only a disease of the lung, it's a disease that affects all different parts of the body,” stressed Dr. Andrea Gershon, a scientist at ICES and lead author of the study.
The researchers had expected that people with asthma would have more doctor appointments, but even they were surprised by how much more asthmatics were seeing their physicians and showing up in hospital emergency rooms. There is no evidence that asthma itself causes these additional health problems, according to Gershon. Genetic or environmental factors may make some people with asthma susceptible to certain additional diseases. Or the allergic reaction behind asthma may also cause inflammation in other body tissue besides the lungs. The researchers also speculate that the limits on physical activities caused by asthma may contribute to health problems such as depression, obesity and osteoporosis.
“It’s still early days in this type of research, and we have a lot to figure out,” said Dr. Gershon. In the meantime, she is encouraging doctors to look at the whole asthmatic patient, and not just at his or her lungs. The study also underlined the need for proper asthma treatment including asthma medications to manage the disease and hopefully limit associated health conditions.
Asthma treatment usually involves two classes of asthma medication, quick-relief or rescue medications used to treat asthma attacks, and long-term control asthma prescriptions used to manage chronic symptoms and limit or prevent attacks. Asthma inhalers are typically provided in a metered-dose asthma inhaler or as a dry powder asthma inhaler.
An earlier study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver showed that asthmatic adults in that province were also much more likely to suffer from another disease. "What worries me the most is that asthma is not taken seriously enough," says Christine Hampson of the Asthma Society of Canada, "People don't understand the cost to the healthcare system."
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