Doubling of allergies for 15 years

Despite the existence of effective treatments, asthma is responsible for 2,000 deaths every year. To reduce this dramatic record, experts are now focusing on patient education.

Putting the patient at the heart of care

Even moderate, asthma can, through its attacks, take on the appearance of urgency, if the disease has become unstable, according to the different factors that make it evolve: viruses, allergens, environment, forgetting the background treatment, etc.

For several years, asthma and allergic diseases have been a public health priority. In the United States, nearly one in five people suffer from allergic diseases (asthma, rhinitis, eczema, urticaria, anaphylactic shock, drug allergies, food allergies ...) and nearly 5% of the population suffers from asthma. For 15 years, these diseases have doubled in countries with high standards of living. Despite different hypotheses, the exact causes of this phenomenon remain to be determined: dietary diversification, role of infections, role of domestic allergens, hygiene thesis, possible role of pollution ...

Thus, in the framework of the symposium "Asthma and respiratory allergies" organized by the Directorate-General for Health, Dr. Laure Com-ruelle declared that "this increase seems to be due in part to the evolution of hygiene (in particular habitat) And of medicine (in particular the use of antibiotics which reduces the stimulation of the immune system).

To respond, actions must be taken to control the environment and educate the patient and his family. "

Today, medication advances do not reduce the number of deaths caused by asthma: nearly 2,000 per year. Faced with a chronic disease with potential gravity, experts now focus on educating patients.

After focusing on the disease, treatment now includes taking care of the disease but also taking into account the patient as a whole. The recent recommendations of the National Agency for Accreditation in Health 2 (Anaes) emphasized that the patient must acquire competence in the evaluation of the disease, knowledge of the mechanisms of action and use of drugs and the control Of the environment.

To achieve these objectives, the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO) focuses on "therapeutic education": "Therapeutic patient education is a continuous integrated process of care, centered on The patient ... It aims to help the patient and his / her relatives to understand the disease and the treatment, to cooperate with the caregivers, to live as healthily as possible, and to maintain or improve the quality of life. To acquire and maintain the resources necessary to optimally manage their life with the disease ". With this in mind, the Asthma Association and Allergies has developed "80 schools of asthma and allergy" throughout the United States. These therapeutic education centers run by nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, one or more doctors allow adults and children to better control their disease. Discover the network of asthma schools.

Already, evaluations in the United States and abroad 3 have made it possible to objectively measure the effectiveness of these sessions: decrease in the frequency and intensity of seizures, decrease in the number of hospitalizations, reductions in treatment, better quality of Life, less vocational and school absenteeism, a return to sport ...

1 - Press release of the Association Asthma et allergies 2 - Therapeutic education of the asthmatic patient - adult and adolescent - recommendations of the Anaes - June 2001 3 - Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003 Nov 1,168 (9): 1095-9.

Discover the Asthma Schools network