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Internet monitoring strategy for severe asthma patients shown to be effective
Date:5/16/2010

ATS 2010, NEW ORLEANS Patients with severe asthma who use an internet-supported strategy and daily monitoring of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) were able to control their asthma with lower overall dosing of oral corticosteroids (OCS) than patients who underwent usual care, according to research from the Netherlands.

"We know that in patients with prednisone-dependent asthma it is important to adjust the daily dose of oral corticosteroids to the lowest possible level in order to reduce long-term side effects," said Simone Hashimoto, M.D., research fellow from the department of respiratory medicine of the University of Amsterdam. "Our study shows that a novel internet-supported strategy including daily measurements of an objective marker of airway inflammation, FENO, and supervision by an asthma nurse allows frequent adjustments of prednisone dose, and leads to significant reduction of total corticosteroid consumption over a six months study period, as compared with patients receiving usual care. This was not accompanied by deterioration of asthma control or asthma-related quality of life."

The findings were presented at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

People with chronic health conditions, such as severe asthma, require continuous medical supervision, which can often be a logistical challenge, not only for overburdened healthcare systems, but for patients themselves, who may not have the time or flexibility to keep frequent appointments. "Internet monitoring allows centralized continuous long-distance support of patients, which can improve the quality of care, reduce the hazards associated with oral corticosteroids tapering, and can prevent drug-induced morbidity and mortality," explained Dr. Hashimoto.

While it was known that in patients with milder asthma, such programs had shown success, patients with severe asthma had yet been studied.

"Some patients with severe asthma require frequent burst
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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