May 3, 2018
Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory disease, affecting mainly children but also adult populations. Respiratory viruses are the most frequent cause of asthma exacerbations, leading to important healthcare costs. Several studies also suggest that bacteria might play a role in wheezing and in asthma course. Asthma is an inflammatory disease, which symptoms are recurrent exacerbations of wheeze, dyspnea, chest tightness, and cough.
According to latest report form the Global Asthma Network (1), as many as 334 million people have asthma worldwide. Historically, asthma was a disease of high-income countries, but this is no longer the case and most people affected are now in developing countries, with a fastest growing prevalence in these countries. The burden of asthma worldwide is important, with strong impact on quality of life. Burden is the strongest for children and senior populations (Figure 4). Asthma most commonly develops in early childhood, and the role of lower airway dysbiosis is also questionable.
The 2014 Global Asthma report estimated that:
- 14% of the world’s children experience asthma symptoms.
- 8.6% of young adults (aged 18-45) experience asthma symptoms.
- 4.5% of young adults have been diagnosed with asthma and/or are taking treatment for asthma.
- Sposato B. et al. Eur rev Med Pharmacol Sci -2015; 19:942-949