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Celebrating World Asthma Day 2024

May 7, 2024, marks World Asthma Day, organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). World Asthma Day is held every year with the aim of raising awareness for asthma worldwide, with the theme of selected as “Asthma Education Empowers” for this year. We want to celebrate this by highlighting how FeNO can help with the management and diagnosis of asthma, potentially saving people’s lives.1-4

World Asthma Day 2024

GINA calls upon healthcare professionals to increase their awareness of asthma and educate themselves in order to provide optimal and effective treatment for patients.5 Asthma continually has high morbidity and mortality rates, and shockingly, most asthma associated deaths are avoidable with effective diagnosis and disease management.6 The key universal issues that GINA has selected on which education is required are:5

  • Under-or inaccurate diagnosis of asthma
  • Underuse of reliver inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) inhalers
  • Overuse and over reliance on short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA) inhalers
  • Poor recognition of patients requiring specialist assessment and further management

We want to raise awareness of FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) testing and how this can help you with the management and diagnosis of asthma in your patients.1-3

Asthma: the facts
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease which effects around 262 million people globally, and in the UK and US this is estimated to be 1 in every 12 adults.7-9

Asthma is often underdiagnosed and under-treated.10 It causes around 1000 deaths a day, but it is estimated that around 65% of these deaths could be prevented. 6,7

Asthma leads to around 60,000 hospital admissions per year and costs the UK £6 billion, including environmental, productivity, and quality of life costs.11,12 Poor asthma control is associated with increased costs, accounting for up to 75% of total asthma-associated costs.13 Unfortunately, asthma cannot be cured; however, many sufferers can reduce their symptoms with effective diagnosis and management.14,15 This allows people with asthma to lead a life that they want.14

How can FeNO help?
FeNO is a useful biomarker to assess the inflammation of the lungs typically associated with Type 2 asthma, which accounts for up to 90% of asthma patients.16-18 It is recommended in many international guidelines for supporting the management and diagnosis of asthma, such as American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, and GINA.4,19-21

FeNO testing is simple, quick and non-invasive, and able to be used in children and patients with severely reduced lung function.22-24 It simply involves exhaling though a breathing handle into a device, at about the pressure of blowing bubbles through a straw, to get an accurate reading and insight into a patient’s lung inflammation.2,22,26

How FeNO testing can support you and your patients:

1. FeNO can help improve accuracy in diagnosis and management of asthma27

FeNO testing can be used alongside traditional methods of asthma diagnosis.19,28,29 It gives you a numerical value for a patient’s level of lung inflammation, helping you get an accurate diagnosis.29,30

FeNO testing can predict exacerbations and be used to monitor patients' asthma over time to see any changes in inflammation.2,31

2. FeNO can help you to optimise dose titration and identify suitable treatments1,27,32
FeNO is exquisitely sensitive to ICS so can be used to safely guide a stepwise approach to confidently titrate ICS dosage.1,19,32 Alongside this, studies have shown it can also help to predict a response to biologics.21,27

3. FeNO can be used as an education and visualisation tool1,27,32
Inflammation should not be guessed. FeNO gives you a numerical value for inflammation.29

It is estimated that around 50% of patients with difficult-to-control asthma do not adhere to their ICS treatment.33,34 Studies have shown that FeNO levels can reduce in as little as four days when patients are adherent, indicating increased asthma control.33,34

FeNO can help you and your patients visualise the inflammation in their lungs which in turn can improve patient compliance and adherence to treatments, and prevent patients from receiving ICS inadvertently or higher than necessary doses.2,35

4. FeNO could help to reduce overall costs associated with asthma15,34,36
FeNO has been shown to be cost effectiveness by identifying non-adherence in patients with difficult-to-control asthma.33,34

It is also estimated that FeNO testing could lead to total savings of £147 million, and by utilising the test to improve patent adherence it is predicted to result in a total of £292 million in savings.12

FeNO testing can reduce the risk of exacerbations by up to 50%, resulting in fewer hospital admissions and costs associated.15,37,38

“Asthma Education Empowers”

Asthma education is important and can empower you to make decisions relating to asthma patients in your clinic.5 Asthma education is important year-round and we hope that World Asthma Day helps highlight the ongoing need for enhancing your knowledge around asthma.

We want to support your continued education about asthma and FeNO. Download our FeNO learn app for exclusive educational content, where you can also find our CPD accredited course about asthma and FeNO. Together we can help improve patient outcomes.

If this article has piqued your interest in FeNO testing and how it could benefit your clinic, book a demo of our NIOX VERO® device today to find out more.

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References

1. Czubaj-Kowal M et al. Relationship between air pollution and the concentration of nitric oxide in the exhaled air (feno) in 8–9-year-old school children in Krakow. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021;18(13):6690. 2. American Thoracic Society; European Respiratory Society. ATS/ERS recommendations for standardized procedures for the online and offline measurement of exhaled lower respiratory nitric oxide and nasal nitric oxide, 2005. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;171(8):912-30. 3. Alving K et al. Validation of a new portable exhaled nitric oxide analyzer, NIOX VERO®: randomized studies in asthma. Pulm Ther. 2017;3:207-218. 4. Gao J et al. Association between fractional exhaled nitric oxide, sputum induction and peripheral blood eosinophil in uncontrolled asthma. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. 2018;1.