According to the U.S. CDC in 2015 there were 18.4 million people over the age of 18 suffering from asthma, and another 6.2 million children < age 18, translating to a total of 16% of the U.S. population. 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma in 2007 for a total of 9 people dying each day that year. Loss of life and QUALITY of life aren’t the only associated costs of this diseases. Our country spent $56 billion (2007) in medical fees, forgone school and work days, and early deaths.
To date, the recommended guidelines for treating asthma neglect the body of research linking asthma to infection. Rescue inhalers are prescribed for mild or intermittent asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are the next step for poorly controlled, more frequent symptoms. Patients who do not respond adequately to to ICS then typically receive an added inhaled long-acting bronchodilator (LABA), and or a variety of other medications (oral and/or injectable biologic therapy). In spite of these interventions many patients remain poorly controlled, severely impacting quality of life.
Regardless of peer-reviewed, published research and articles on the role that infection plays in asthma, the medical community at large has yet to integrate this knowledge into clinical practice. Antimicrobials have been found to be effective for a statistically significant number of patients suffering with asthma. There is an urgent need for larger studies to determine the ideal antimicrobial regimen (single versus combination therapy) and duration of treatment. Since the implicated intracellular pathogens are notoriously difficult to identify through currently available testing methods, a consensus is needed to define a clinical endpoint that would be indicative of a cure. Dr. David Hahn has been pioneering the antimicrobial approach to treating asthma for decades, and authored a large research study (AMAZES). His trial confirmed the suspicion that patients with asthma could benefit from Azithromycin treatment.
For patients:www.asthmastory.com provides excellent context to the whole story, complete with patient accounts and a list of doctors across the US who treat asthma based on this body of research.