In Case You Missed It: Asthma Research Round-Up

While there’s no such thing as an “asthma newspaper” to keep me up to date on what’s going on in asthma, I’ve got a handful of Google Alerts set up for different topics, so that’s pretty close. I tend to find, though, that I get a lot of articles on the same topics, as every news network tries to cover a topic through their own lens. This isn’t a bad thing, as every article might contain a bit different information, but you probably already know I’m only going to read one of those articles!

As we flow from summer into fall, though, I thought I’d do a quick review of what’s been in the news and new asthma research that’s taken hold of the headlines. While at least one of these you likely couldn’t have missed… here’s a recap ICYMI (in case you missed it).

Asthma research review

Within the text below, I’ve also included a link to an article discussing the topic at hand… but there are certainly many more if you do choose to dig in.

  • Comorbidities can be telling

    Children who have asthma as well as depression or anxiety are more likely to require a visit to an emergency room for their asthma. Children with comorbid mental health concerns visit the ER twice as frequently as children without depression or anxiety—underscoring the importance of addressing comorbidities. This is why we have to ensure that the tiny humans with asthma are a part of being assessed more holistically, too!

  • Systemic racism has affected asthma treatment

    African-American children (and adults, per one article) respond differently to asthma treatment and step-up therapy during flare-ups. A study indicated that while the same step-up treatment protocol is followed for all at present, some Black children may not respond to long-acting bronchodilator therapy, instead doing better on an increased dose of inhaled corticosteroids.

    The study indicated that unexpectedly, “almost half of young children in the study responded differently [to treatment] than older children and adults, and than white children in prior studies.”1 The senior researcher on the team, Dr. Elliott Israel, states for many years African Americans were under-represented in research, and “We shouldn’t assume that current treatment strategies for asthma are ideal […]”1And not only that—racism adversely affects asthma control among African-American children with asthma. This appears to be due to chronic stressors more likely to disproportionately affect African American children and their families.1

  • We're in Peak Week

    While we roll into October, the September Asthma Peak still remains in the news, an annual worsening of asthma experienced by many in the third week in September. (As we’re certainly just getting further from September as you read this, I’m not going to elaborate much here!)

  • Genetics and asthma

    Like mother, like baby: children born to a mother with a history of asthma are found to have a higher risk of developing persistent asthma. (Thanks, genetics.)

  • Beware of vaping

    While not directly related to asthma but with everything to do with lungs, black-market vaping supplies were found to increase risk of “vaping-related illness”, and in some cases death. (This also ended up in my hep C alert for work, for what reason I could never determine.)

Ongoing asthma research

I’m always curious about what is going on in asthma research, and reviewing asthma news is one way I satisfy that curiosity (and sometimes even get article ides to share with all of you). While there are still a lot of asthma mysteries we face, seeing even these seemingly small nuggets of news gives me at least some hope that people ARE trying to figure out asthma, in order to make life a bit easier for all of us who live with it!

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