Carson City Dr. Stuart Stoloff spoke at a recent National Institute of Health conference to 1,200 people who work in the field of asthma to discuss ways to improve car for the disease.
The Washington, D.C., meeting brought together school nurses, people involved in asthma coalitions, asthma educators and physicians who provide patient care.
"I had the opportunity to discuss how care is provided in such diverse locations as the rural deserts of New Mexico to the inner-city projects of Harlem, N.Y.," Stoloff said.
A common theme identified was the need to educate patients, families and health-care providers in ways to improve communication when discussing all aspects of care, including the best medications.
The NIH, through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, has an expert panel of clinicians to evaluate the best care models. Stoloff, a member of the group, said it has identified inhaled corticosteroids as the preferred therapy for persistent asthma in all age groups.
Other discussions at the conference involved empowering patients to use inhaled corticosteroids daily and take control of their disease. World experts described the future role of gene therapy and whether changes in the environment have caused an enormous increase in asthma in the United States and worldwide.
The experts said it is not easy to identify any one culprit as the main reason why the asthma incidence as increased to more than 10 percent of the population. Studies are ongoing to define reasons for the increase.
The major benefit of the meeting was the networking between people from different cities, states and work locations to identify the best practice models, said Stoloff.