Elevated blood eosinophil levels are a risk factor for asthma exacerbations

May 20, 2014, American Thoracic Society

In adults with persistent asthma, elevated blood eosinophil levels may be able to predict which individuals are at increased risk for exacerbations, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

"Eosinophils are known to be involved in the pathophysiology of , and determining their relationship with may allow us to determine in advance which of these patients needs targeted interventions," said lead author Dr. Robert Zeiger, MD, PhD, Physician Investigator at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, California. "In our study, elevated blood eosinophil levels were found to be a risk factor for subsequent exacerbations in adult asthma patients."

Eosinophils are that become active in individuals with certain allergic diseases, including asthma, and other medical conditions.

In the study, blood eosinophil levels were measured in 2,392 adult asthma patients in 2010 and the relationship between these levels and the rate of exacerbations in 2011 was determined in analyses adjusting for demographics, co-morbidities, and asthma burden and care.

Increasing level of blood eosinophil at baseline was associated with increasing risk of future asthma exacerbation in both crude and adjusted analyses. The relationship was observed in crude analysis for baseline eosinophil level of >300/mm3 (crude rate ratio 1.25; 95% CI, 1.04-1.51, P = 0.02) and was weaker after adjustment for baseline characteristics (adjusted rate ratio 1.16; 95% CI, 0.97-1.39, P=0.11). A baseline eosinophil level of >400/mm3 was associated with future asthma exacerbations in 2011 after adjustment for baseline features (adjusted rate ratio 1.31; 95% CI, 1.07-1.60, P<0.01).

Other factors in 2010 that were significantly associated with an increased risk of exacerbations in 2011 included a history of prior asthma exacerbations, GINA steps-4/5 care, dispensing of 7 or more short-acting beta-agonist canisters, female gender, black ethnicity, and obesity.

"Our findings suggest that asthma patients with an elevated blood eosinophil level have a greater disease burden," said Dr. Zeiger. "If our findings can be replicated in other populations and settings, measurement of blood eosinophil levels may help guide treatment for patients at the greatest risk for exacerbations."

Explore further: Monoclonal antibody appears effective and safe in asthma Phase IIa trial

More information: Abstract 50175
Elevated Blood Eosinophil Level Is A Risk Factor For Exacerbations In Adult Persistent Asthma
Type: Scientific Abstract
Category: 01.09 - Asthma Mediators (AII)
Authors: R.S. Zeiger1, M. Schatz1, Q. Li2, W. Chen2, D. Khatry3, T.N. Tran3; 1Kaiser Permanente Southern California - San Diego, CA/US, 2Kaiser Permanente Southern California - Pasadena, CA/US, 3MedImmune, LLC - Gaithersburg, MD/US

Related Stories

Monoclonal antibody appears effective and safe in asthma Phase IIa trial

May 21, 2013
A novel approach to obstructing the runaway inflammatory response implicated in some types of asthma has shown promise in a Phase IIa clinical trial, according to U. S. researchers.

Obese youth more likely to develop asthma

August 9, 2013
(HealthDay)—Obese youth are more likely to develop asthma, and are more likely to have severe asthma, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Risk factors for an exacerbation-prone asthma phenotype

May 20, 2012
A number of specific risk factors are associated with an exacerbation-prone phenotype of severe asthma, according to a new study from researchers in Sweden.

Facilitation improves PCP adherence to asthma guidelines

May 14, 2014
(HealthDay)—Adding practice facilitation (PF) to other strategies may improve adherence to asthma guidelines in the primary care setting, according to research published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Two tests in combination can provide better asthma diagnosis

September 24, 2013
It was previously thought that the two test methods signalled the same type of asthma. But a new study, led by researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that the methods actually signal two different inflammatory processes. ...

Researchers discover new potential antibody treatment for asthma

May 20, 2014
Researchers at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University have successfully tested an antibody that can improve the quality of life for individuals with asthma by relieving inflammation in the lungs. The research ...

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.