The World Allergy Organization (WAO) will be hosting World Allergy Week between 13 and 19 April 2015 in collaboration with its 95 national Member Societies; the topic addressed will be “Airway Allergies – The Human and Economic Burden.” Several experts will be reunited to explain the connections between both lower and upper airways and emphasize the need for integrated management strategies, since those suffering with allergic rhinitis have a higher risk of developing asthma.
Allergic rhinitis is the most common allergic condition, and it affects around 10 and 40 percent of the total population in the world and is particularly prevalent among children. As a result, the number of individuals suffering with this condition is increasing worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, about 300 million people worldwide live with asthma and 400 million suffer from allergic rhinitis; it is expected that asthma sufferers will be up to 400 million around 2025. About 80 percent of asthmatic patients have allergic rhinitis and 40 percent of those with allergic rhinitis also suffer with asthma.
“There is indeed a need for more awareness of the links between rhinitis and asthma as well as an improved global management readily applicable to primary care and patients. Allergic rhinitis and co-morbid asthma can have a significant impact on patients, family members, and society at large. Airway allergies affect multiple parameters including quality of life, physical, psychological, and social interactions, and they have financial consequences. The monetary costs of asthma are substantial and include both direct medical costs and indirect non-medical costs,” said Lanny Rosenwasser, the President of the World Allergy Organization, in a press release.
Motohiro Ebisawa, professor, Chair of the WAO Communications Committee and WAO Treasurer concluded: “Many of the WAO Member Societies will organize local educational and informational events that focus on airway allergies that affect their communities, especially related to the socio-economic burden. Everyone with an interest in airway allergies can participate by contacting their national allergy societies and local advocacy groups.”
In other news related to asthma, results from two multi center clinical trials support the use of reslizumab in patients with asthma and elevated blood eosinophil counts who are inadequately controlled on inhaled corticosteroid-based therapy. The study titled “Reslizumab for inadequately controlled asthma with elevated blood eosinophil counts: results from two multicentre, parallel, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials” was recently published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine.