The Rise of Asthma & Chronic Allergies in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 25 million Americans, including more than 5.5 million children, have asthma. And more concerning is that asthma rates continue to be on the rise.
The sharp increase in asthma prevalence was first observed in the 1960’s, and this increase is accompanied by a similar rise in chronic allergies prompting multiple hypotheses to explain this epidemic.
What is Causing the Spike in Asthma and Allergy Cases?
Even though many studies on the subject exist, researchers still do not have a definitive explanation of why more and more people are suffering from asthma and chronic allergies.
There are, however, several possible theories.
The first theory that was widely accepted back in the late 1980’s was the “hygiene hypothesis,” which states that over-sanitizing a child’s living environment negatively impacts their immune system and can lead to decreased disease resistance.
Then in 2003, another theory surfaced. This one proposed that a lack of exposure to non-pathogenic microbes and commensal organisms could be blamed for the increased prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases.
Some researchers believe the rise in allergies and asthma is due to increased airborne pollens, the energy-proofing of our indoor living environments, urban air pollution, and antibiotics overuse.
Others feel environmental factors are the main contributor to asthma and allergies.
There are two main types of asthma: allergic asthma, which is the most common type and triggered by allergens such as dust, pet dander, cockroaches, and non-allergic asthma, usually triggered by airway infections, stress, exercise, and smoke.
The Use of Biologics – A Step Towards Personalized Treatment
Thanks to the staggering amount of research into asthma and other related allergic diseases, scientists have developed novel therapies that have revolutionized the era of disease management and could potentially modify the expected course of these diseases.
The scientific community’s large-scale studies have helped expand the understanding of the immune system’s vital role in homeostasis and host defense. This newfound understanding led researchers to explore and develop biologic therapies that target specific immune mechanisms in allergic diseases.
Several large-scale studies have expanded the understanding of the immune system’s critical role in homeostasis and host defense. However, the multifaceted etiology of allergic diseases and of asthma poses a challenge in an attempt to identify a single target for therapy.
Researchers explored small molecule and biologic therapies that target immune mechanisms in allergic diseases to circumvent these challenges.
A significant number of asthma patients do not achieve disease control with traditional treatments. Since these novel biologic agents can be designed to influence particular segments of the pathogenic pathways, it’s possible to align a patient’s disease characteristics with a tailored biologic therapy to achieve more effective disease control.
Biologic therapies in asthma and allergic diseases have proven to reduce exacerbations, diminish steroid burden, lower adverse side effects, and decrease healthcare utilization costs for patients.
Given the many benefits and the effectiveness of biologics, it becomes imperative to make access to these therapies easier and more cost-effective.
That is the goal of Altus Biologics, to help patients receive their treatments in convenient locations, with more personalized care, at an affordable price.
The information provided on this blog regarding symptoms and possible treatment of illnesses is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Altus Biologics does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information published in its blog and will not be held responsible for the content of any blog publication.
You should always consult your primary care physician for specific medical advice.
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