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Editorials |

Lung Function Decline in Asthma and Early Intervention With Inhaled Corticosteroids

Tari Haahtela, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Helsinki, Finland
 ,  Dr. Haahtela is Professor of Clinical Allergology, Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital.

Correspondence to: Tari Haahtela, MD, Professor of Clinical Allergology, Skin and Allergy Hospital, PO Box 160, Helsinki, Finland 00029; e-mail: tari.haahtela@hus.fi



Chest. 2006;129(6):1405-1406. doi:10.1378/chest.129.6.1405
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It is acknowledged that asthmatic inflammation of the bronchial mucosa should be the primary target of the treatment of asthma. In patients with early asthma, lung function will usually normalize completely after the inflammation is relieved.1 The patient will usually become asymptomatic, but the disease is not cured. The inflammation may recur frequently and become persistent, requiring more or less regular treatment. In Finland, a 10-year national asthma program2 focused on the early detection and treatment of inflammation, and the burden of asthma has decreased considerably. For example, disability pensions decreased 76% from 1993 to 2003, and the increase in the costs ended.2 Early intervention saves money and protects patients from suffering.

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