Graphs and charts don’t always tell the whole story. Numbers can be deceiving. But anyone who looks at U.S. trends in asthma mortality can see, without squinting, that things are moving in the right direction.
A 2019 analysis in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that from 1999 to 2015, asthma mortality fell by 43%. “The decrease in asthma-related mortality was consistent in both sexes and in all race groups, with the largest decrease in patients older than 65 years,” the authors concluded. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that these positive trends have continued through 2019, and data coming from the U.K. and Europe tell a similarly happy tale.
“What I see in the clinic today is completely different than it was 10 years ago,” says Dr. Christopher Brightling, a clinical professor in respiratory medicine at the University of Leicester and a senior investigator at the National Institute for Health and Care Research in the U.K. “The treatment space is looking really positive, and with the newest drugs I would anticipate responses to be even better.”
Biologics, he and others say, are leading the way in the fight against severe asthma. These drugs work by manipulating the activity of genes or cells, and they have been life-changing for many patients. New advancements in inhaler-based medicines and connected technologies are other bright spots, and some health systems are moving their care teams out of the clinic and into community settings in an effort to reach underserved populations.
Together, these and other new…