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NIH asthma outcome measures aim to maximize research investments, reduce disparities
Date:3/2/2012

entatives gathered in Bethesda, Md., to identify how the nation might overcome the lack of outcomes standards in asthma clinical research. The meeting was organized by several NIH institutes, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as well as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and MCAN. The report of the meeting recommended a standardization of outcome measures that these federal agencies will consider implementing in the coming months.

Dr. Malveaux also noted that there is great potential for increased ability to duplicate successful interventions in some of the country's neediest communities, identify areas for cost reduction and, through data-sharing, reduce disparities in the communities hardest hit by asthma.

Although other endpoints may be proposed by researchers, the NIH has identified seven outcome categories that are important in clinical studies. These categories include:

  • Symptoms: Asthma symptoms are used to assess the impact of interventions on health outcomes. Although current tools have shortcomings, the report reviews key instruments and encourages further development of new ones.
  • Exacerbations: Future studies will report exacerbations or worsening of asthma requiring the use of systemic corticosteroids.
  • Biomarkers: The report identified ten biomarkers relevant to disease progression and response to treatment, with particular emphasis on reporting multi-allergen screening.
  • Lung Function: Lung function outcomes are of central importance for future asthma clinical research, and spirometry and bronchial reversibility measures are considered key in diagnosing and determining disease severity.
  • Quality of Life: Measures of asthma's impact on a patient's life as essen
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Contact: Kimberly Wise
kwise@ccapr.com
202-609-6015
The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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