Non-Adherence Biggest Issue in Asthma Management Today

Adherence to medication is the main method of prevention in chronic asthma cases. Asthma symptoms can be suppressed rather successfully with a consistent approach to medication usage. Neglecting to follow a medication regime is one of leading causes of hospitalization and even death for asthma sufferers. BBC published a recent study showing that almost one third of asthma patients in the U.K miss important hospital check-ups. This prevents doctors and healthcare professionals from being able to monitor their patients. Studies also show that a similar percentage of asthma patients in the U.S do not show up to their medical check-ups.

More than a million people suffering from asthma are missing out on key yearly checks. New analysis by charity Asthma UK found that 31% of asthma patients did not receive an “essential” annual review to check whether they are on the right medicine.

The charity said that its review of GP data for 2012/13 showed that there were 3,359,612 people in England who should have received an asthma review but 1,025,539 patients missed out.

NHS guidance suggests that everyone with asthma should get an annual review, an asthma action plan and their inhaler technique checked.

“With the worrying scale of prescribing errors identified by the National Review of Asthma Deaths, it’s vital that doctors and nurses do everything they can to follow up with patients to review their medicines, especially as asthma can vary hugely over the year.

“There is also an unacceptably large variation in the numbers of people attending annual reviews, which ranges from only 52% to 79% across the UK,” a spokeswoman said.

Read the original article here.

Geckocap is a better method to manage your asthma medication. Find out more here

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Study: Asthma Inhaler use in Children Stunts Growth

Child with inhaler

The Guardian recently covered two asthma studies regarding inhaler usage and growth in children. The studies were conducted by Francine Ducharme, a pediatrician at the University of Montreal. The first study analyzed published inhaler usage trials of over 8,400 children. Results showed that the growth rate for children under 18 without steroid usage exceeded the growth rate for children using steroids by approximately half a centimeter per year.

The second study followed children who were taking medication doses between 50 to 200 micrograms of inhalable steroids. The children who took higher doses were at an increased risk of stunted growth.

Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication, researchers say.

But doctors said the effect was so small it was easily outweighed by the clear benefits of taking the drugs, which prevent serious asthma attacks and even deaths from the breathing disorder.

Children who used the common corticosteroids to alleviate their asthma symptoms grew on average half a centimetre less over the course of a year, compared with children who did not take the medicine.

The steroids seemed to affect children’s growth only in the first year and had even less of an impact on their growth rate when used in low doses of no more than 100 micrograms.

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Study: Consuming Broccoli Benefits Asthmatics

broccoli

The University of Melbourne recently carried out a study testing the benefits of broccoli as it relates to asthma. Results showed that consuming one to two cups of steamed broccoli prevents asthma symptoms and potentially reverses lung damage. However, the benefits are not only limited to broccoli but are also found in other cruciferous vegetables.

These vegetables alter the airway formation making it easier to breath. This study is among others that aim to discover the benefits of dietary changes for various illnesses and will be presented at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Conference in Shanghai.

Broccoli could help asthma patients to breathe easy, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, eating one to two cups of lightly steamed broccoli could prevent asthma from worsening.

Other vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family such as kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and bok choy also help reverse lung damage, the study found.                  

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Self Reported Asthma Rate Drops

The Center for Disease Control conducts an annual survey to discover the self-reported U.S asthma rate. Results indicate a significant drop in asthma to a nine year low. 7.4% of the U.S population reported an asthma diagnoses compared to a fairly consistent rate at approximately 8.5% since 2009. The CDC is not completely convinced, having surveyed 47,000 people last year, and they are hesitant to declare its decline. Asthma is a chronic illness affecting around 3 million children and adults in the United States. One of the leading causes of asthma deaths is attributed to a lack of medication adherence.

(Reuters) – Self-reported U.S. asthma rates have fallen significantly for the first time in four years to a nine-year low, according to a survey released on Thursday, but researchers cautioned that the numbers may not mean the disease is dwindling.

About 7.4 percent of the U.S. population reported having asthma in 2013, down from a level that has hovered around 8.5 percent since 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found.

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Asthma Symptoms and Spring Time

Asthma symptoms vary depending on a few major factors, one of them being seasonal change. With spring time approaching and children going outside to play in warmer weather, it is important to review prevention methods. A recent article posted by Dr. Michael Rosenthal on Delaware online provides a good overview.  Spring brings with it a slew of new triggers that can impact asthma. These include air pollution, pollen and increased exposure to animals. Thus, medication adherence is especially important during this time as it could prevent dangerous symptoms.

 

Childhood asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, and can occur year-round. Now that spring has arrived and children are heading outside to play, it’s a good time to consider the impact and dangers of this disease, as well as how to protect against asthma attacks.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, causing wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. The smaller airways within the lungs have a hard time moving air in and out, making breathing difficult.

Causes of asthma range from genetics to allergens and pollutants. No cure for asthma exists, although some children have fewer symptoms as they get older only to have it recur later in life due to certain triggers.

More than 7 million children nationwide have asthma. The disease accounts for more hospitalizations than any other childhood illness and more than 3,000 childhood deaths each year.

Aside from the health problems, asthma can affect learning and school performance. Among children ages 5 to 17, it is the leading cause of absences from school related to a chronic illness. Children with asthma miss an average of eight days per year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

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TEDMED Features Gecko Health in its Blog

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TEDMED, a platform for sharing health related ideas and innovative solutions, recently featured the Geckocap in a blog post. The article focused on companies using data and monitoring techniques to help adolescents suffering from chronic or temporary health issues. The following companies were discussed in the article: Kinsa, an oral thermometer coupled with the technical prowess of a smartphone, Nonoly, a chemical making vaccine refrigeration obsolete allowing medicine to travel easily to rural areas and our very own Gecko Health Innovations.

Medication adherence is such an integral part of healthcare management that it is important to establish such habits at early ages, thus potentially creating a lifetime of medication self-management.

Move over, plastic stethoscopes: A number of innovations from TEDMED Hive 2013 companies aim to help even the littlest patients become engaged in their own real-life care.

Kinsa makes an oral thermometer that leverages the crowdsourcing power of a smart phone. The thermometer plugs into and transmits data to a free smartphone app – iOS now, but Android as well in the future – which also records and tracks symptoms and temps for easy retrieval at a pediatrician’s office. What’s more, the next phase of the product will provide crowd sourced data from social networks to allow parents to see what’s going on in a child’s neighborhood or school. Strep going around? Lice? Better act now.

The company is focusing first on tracking childhood ills, because mothers are the primary users of thermometers, says Kinsa deputy CEO Qian Qian Tang, and because children are prime carriers of highly contagious diseases like flu, whooping cough and measles.

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Study Aims to Curb Asthma Over-Medication

NBC published an article covering new research currently being carried out by Dr. John Mastronarde and his team at the Ohio State Medical Center. The study aims to find the optimal amount of medication for each asthma patient. This research is essential in the asthma medication space due to over-medication creating unnecessary costs and health hazards. The study will examine combinations of inhalers and medicines to find the most effective dose levels at various situations.

“With 26 million Americans taking asthma medicines at a cost of $150 million a day, a new study seeks to determine how to change the fact that many of those patients are taking too much medicine.

Dr. John Mastronarde and his colleagues at Ohio State University Medical Center are researching how to get patients on the lowest dose of asthma medicine possible.

He said the drugs can cost patients between $3 and $500 per month.

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