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New Asthma Biomarkers Identified from Lung Bacteria

While the microbiome has gained significant attention for its impact on digestive health in recent years, its effect on lung disease has largely remained unstudied. Dr. Patricia Finn says this is a missed opportunity. “The microbiome is the ecosystem of good and bad bacteria living in the body,” said Finn, the Earl M. Bane Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Because the lungs continuously and automatically draw air, and any number of environmental agents, into the body, the composition and balance of microbes in the lungs may have a profound effect on many respiratory conditions.” New research from Finn and her colleagues in the UIC College of Medicine suggests that the lung microbiome plays a significant role in asthma severity and response to treatment.

Health Care Costs Doubled in Patients Showing Presence of Asthma Biomarker

eMAX Health Systems, LLC announced the results of new research showing almost 200% higher health care costs in patients with elevated peripheral blood eosinophil counts – a key biomarker for severe asthma and asthma exacerbations – compared to those with normal eosinophil counts. This important finding can help identify the high-risk patient with asthma to better manage the disease and reduce costs to the private and government health insurance industry struggling to manage growing asthma costs, estimated to approach $60 billion per year in medical expenses, missed school and work days, and early deaths.

Genetic Variance Explains Poor Response to Common Asthma Medications

Researchers have identified a biological basis for asthmatic children who do not respond well to corticosteroid treatment – currently the most effective treatment for chronic asthma and acute asthma attack.

Genetic Variance Explains Poor Response to Common Asthma Medications

Researchers have identified a biological basis for asthmatic children who do not respond well to corticosteroid treatment – currently the most effective treatment for chronic asthma and acute asthma attack.

Rare Genetic Variations May Account for Severe Reaction to LABA Drugs in Some Asthmatics

More than 25 million people in the United States have asthma, a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways causing recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Although several types of drugs are available to treat asthma, long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) are among the most commonly used and work well for most people. However, for a small subgroup of people with asthma, LABAs can cause severe, life-threatening side effects and carry a boxed safety warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.