A 1-year randomized, stratified double-blind parallel-group study of 3,416 patients with uncontrolled asthma showed that the stringent standard of total control was achieved by 41 percent of all patients from 3 separate study groups during at least 7 out of 8 consecutive assessment weeks over the year. The researchers recruited 3 groups of uncontrolled asthma patients: an inhaled steroid nave group, those on a low-dose inhaled steroid regimen, and a group on moderate dose inhaled steroids. After a 4-week run-in period, the groups were treated with either the inhaled steroid fluticasone propionate alone or in combination with the long-acting beta2-agonist salmeterol. The authors said that significantly more patients in each study group achieved control with the salmeterol/fluticasone combination than with fluticasone alone. Also, control was achieved more rapidly and at a lower corticosteroid dose with salmeterol/fluticasone versus fluticasone alone. According to the authors, total control, by definition, was achieved if the patients, during 8 consecutive assessment weeks, recorded 7 totally controlled weeks with no exacerbations, emergency room "criteria," or medication-related adverse events for each day of each week. They said that such stringent and sustained measures of asthma control had never been previously assessed in clinical trials. They also noted that the results of their study suggest that total control should be the aim of treatment for all asthma patients. The research appears in the second issue for October 2004 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
REPLACEMENT TESTOSTERONE ASSISTS CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE PATIENTS
Replacement doses of the male sex hormone testosterone increased lean body mass and leg muscle strength in men with severe chro
Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society