Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition characterised by variable airflow limitation. Asthma is the most chronic condition to affect children, and the World Health Organisation estimates 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. Most patients with asthma can be managed successfully in primary care, but a significant proportion require specialist referral and supervision. In this chapter we discuss asthma epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and monitoring, management in the acute and long-term settings, asthma in special populations, and those patients who are difficult-to-treat at the severe end of the spectrum.
KeywordsAllergy Airflow obstruction Eosinophils Interleukin-5 Bronchoalveolar lavage Blood count Immunoglobulin E Occupational lung disease Inhaled drug therapy Inhalers Corticosteroids
We would like to acknowledge Dr. Alex Hicks for critiquing the chapter.
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