Updated NIH Guidelines Offer Valuable Information on Asthma Diagnosis and Management

Friday, August 31, 2007 General News
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PORTAGE, Mich., Aug. 30 Phadia US Inc. announced todaythat The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) has issuedan update on selected topics in the Guidelines for the Diagnosis andManagement of Asthma. Information in the guidelines reported that allergieshave emerged as one of the most important factors in the development,persistence and potential severity of asthma and that allergy testing isnecessary to educate patients about allergen avoidance and symptom control.

"The role of allergy testing in asthma management is important informationfor patients, particularly because many asthmatics are not aware that a simpleblood test can be conducted to identify what is triggering an asthma attack,"said Dean Mitchell, MD, leading allergist and author of Dr. Dean Mitchell'sAllergy and Asthma Solution. "Allergy diagnostic testing using a specific IgEblood test is a safe and accurate method to identify triggers early on andeffectively manage patients."

The Guidelines were developed by an expert panel commissioned by theNational Asthma Education and Prevention Program and coordinated by theNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutesof Health to ensure that the asthma guidelines reflect the latest scientificadvances in this area. The guidelines were first published in 1991 andrevised in 1997 and 2002. These latest parameters highlight the importance ofkeeping asthma under control through four critical components of asthma care,including: assessment and monitoring, patient education, control ofenvironmental factors contributing to asthma severity, and pharmacologictherapy.

"As the presence of allergens increases this fall allergy season, it willbe critical for patients to understand what their allergic triggers are andhow to avoid those allergens," said Dr. Mitchell. "By accurately diagnosingallergies, healthcare providers can recommend avoidance strategies, so thatpatients can minimize their exposure to triggers, which collectively areresponsible for pushing them over their allergic threshold and intensifyingasthma symptoms."

According to the guidelines, approximately 22 million Americans haveasthma and more than six million of these are children, making it one of themost common chronic diseases of childhood. While the number of asthma-relateddeaths has declined in recent years, nearly 500,000 asthma-relatedhospitalizations occur annually resulting in a significant economic burden onour healthcare system.

"Knowledge gained from allergy testing allows asthma patients to makenecessary adjustments to their environment to decrease their risk for asthmaattacks and subsequent hospitalizations," said Dr. Mitchell.

ImmunoCAP was the first allergy test to be cleared by the FDA as a trulyquantitative test for pinpointing allergens and allergy blood testing isrecognized by the National Institutes of Health for the management of patientswith asthma. The ImmunoCAP technology works by measuring IgE antibodies tospecific allergens in a small sample of blood. Specific IgE is produced as aresult of sensitization to an allergen and increases with exposure to thatsubstance.

Phadia AB, headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden, is the world leader in invitro IgE diagnostic research and product development. Its U.S. affiliate isin Portage, Michigan.

SOURCE Phadia US Inc.

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