Asthma Care Improving
New medications introduced in the past decade appear to have improved asthma care and outcomes among children with severe asthma. After noticing a decline in the number of children to the National Jewish Health Pediatric Day Program for treatment of severe asthma, Joseph Spahn, MD, and his colleagues compared two cohorts of moderate-to-severe asthma patients from 1993-1997 and 2004-2007. They found that the recent patients had better lung function, less use of rescue medications, less use of oral steroids, and less weight gain. Dr. Spahn attributes the improved outcomes to more effective medications, including the better inhaled steroids, steroid/beta agonist combinations (i.e. Advair), and leukotriene modifying agents (i.e. Singulair). It is unclear, however, if the new medications are altering the long-term course of the disease.