Asthma

20 November 2009

Asthma combo less influenced by genes

People's genetic makeup has been shown to affect how they respond to asthma medications, but a new study finds that many people respond well to a particular combination treatment regardless of their genes.

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(HealthDay News) - People's genetic makeup has been shown to affect how they respond to asthma medications, but a new study finds that many people respond well to a particular combination treatment regardless of their genes.

However, the study did find a difference in response among blacks.

The drug combo in question combines the long-acting beta-agonist salmeterol (Serevent) and moderate doses of an inhaled corticosteroid. The genes in question relate to a receptor in the body that is crucial to the effectiveness of asthma bronchodilators.

Some research has suggested that a variation in these genes can affect how people respond to the drugs. The researchers tested that theory in 87 people who had two types of the genetic variation -- B16 Arg/Arg or B16 Gly/Gly.

They found that lung function did not differ overall in the groups, although there was some difference in blacks. The results are reported online Nov. 19 in The Lancet.

"These findings provide reassurance that, in the general population, patients should continue to be treated with long-acting beta-agonists plus moderate-dose inhaled corticosteroids irrespective of B16 genotype," the researchers wrote.

However, there are still questions to be answered, particularly involving blacks' response to salmeterol, they said.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about asthma.

 

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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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