The disease of global importance I have chosen is asthma. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways





PART ONE: The disease of global importance I have chosen is asthma. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. The disease is usually long-term and is usually accompanied by allergies. Asthma is a common long-term condition that can cause wheezing, breathlessness. and a cough (especially in the morning & at night).


In a meta-analysis study of genome pertaining asthma on North America populations, suggested that some asthma susceptibility loci are robust to differences in ancestry thus attributing to the idea that asthma is genetic.

Torgerson, D. G., Ampleford, E. J., Chiu, G. Y., Gauderman, W. J., Gignoux, C. R., Graves, P. E., … & Baurley, J. W. (2011). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of asthma in ethnically diverse North American populations. Nature genetics, 43(9), 887. Retrieved from a study on the preverllence of asthma by a group of scietists, it was found that asham prevalence in most of the countries is increasing or remains stable in some but not decreasing.

Anandan, C., Nurmatov, U., Van Schayck, O. C. P., & Sheikh, A. (2010). Is the prevalence of asthma declining? Systematic review of epidemiological studies. Allergy, 65(2), 152-167. Retrieved from a study on symptons of asthma, it suggested that the definition of asthma should be “a symptomatic bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR).”

Pekkanen, J., & Pearce, N. (1999). Defining asthma in epidemiological studies. European Respiratory Journal, 14(4), 951-957. an exercise challenge protocol for asthma in children: comparison with histamine challenge, found out that children did respond to only one of the challenges thus the two challenges can be used to identify different abnormalities in children.

Haby, M. M., Anderson, S. D., Peat, J. K., Mellis, C. M., Toelle, B. G., & Woolcock, A. J. (1994). An exercise challenge protocol for epidemiological studies of asthma in children: comparison with histamine challenge. European Respiratory Journal, 7(1), 43-49. Retrieved from recent research on the effects of aerobic exercises on asthma showed that aerobic exercises reduces asthma phonotype that involves SOCSJAK- STAT signaling.

Bell Jr, R. H. (2009). JAK-STAT pathway in disease. CRC Press.

A study on the cost of asthma and its social impact found out that asthma being a lifelong disease, emergency treatment is expensive and thus there is need to obtain standardized methods and reduce the prices to treat it.

Nunes, C., Pereira, A. M., & Morais-Almeida, M. (2017). Asthma costs and social impact. Asthma research and practice, 3(1), 1. Retrieved from a study about risk factors of asthma, it was noted that diet is also linked to asthma, improper breast feeding, childhood obesity and exposure to cold are also risk factors for asthma. However, prevention is possible in the sense that the above should e avoided.

Beasley, R., Semprini, A., & Mitchell, E. A. (2015). Risk factors for asthma: is prevention possible? The Lancet, 386(9998), 1075-1085. Retrieved from; a research to establish the relationship between asthma and antibody response, it was concluded that people with asthma have poor humoral immune response to PPSV 23.

Jung, J. A., Kita, H., Dhillon, R., Jacobson, R. M., Nahm, M. H., Park, M., … & Juhn, Y. J. (2010). Influence of asthma status on serotype-specific pneumococcal antibody levels. Postgraduate medicine, 122(5), 116-124. Retrieved from; attempt to determine the role of allergy in asthma, it was noted that in adult’s asthma has less to do with allergies unlike in children where those with high allergic reactions were asthmatic thus the two are linked together.

Del Giacco, S. R., Bakirtas, A., Bel, E., Custovic, A., Diamant, Z., Hamelmann, E., … & Seys, S. (2017). Allergy in severe asthma. Allergy, 72(2), 207-220. Retrieved from; study found out that increase in smoking puts one at a risk of becoming more asthmatic and resistant to diseased. This research was conducted in Europe where people who smoke and didn’t smoke were tested on response to different drugs.

Aanerud, M., Carsin, A. E., Sunyer, J., Dratva, J., Gislason, T., Jarvis, D., … & Svanes, C. (2015). Interaction between asthma and smoking increases the risk of adult airway obstruction. European Respiratory Journal, 45(3), 635-643. Retrieved from; THREE



I conducted a research on a female who had lived with asthma for seven years from the day of diagnosis. For sure this was a long term disease. The patient has been experiencing the symptoms for more than 10 years however she confused this with normal flu and cold. Among other characteristics she was experiencing included wheezing. She had an abnormally high-pitched sound produced by breathing through partially obstructed or narrowed airways. This was more prominent during exhalation and is associated with a prolonged expiratory phase. Besides wheezing, she could not survive in a cold environment. The patient also complained that her chest was often congested and experienced chest pains most frequent especially during winter seasons. Also, there is increased mucus secretion this mostly in the morning. Besides the secretion there is always running nose in the morning or when exposed to cold. Strong allergic reactions to dust, perfume and smoke was also what she experienced. When introduced to dust she sneezes, then get difficulties in breathing. Currently she takes long to recover from respiratory infections such as cough, cold and flu. To some point she confuses the symptoms with those of asthma.

When she felt the symptoms so serious she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with asthma. First weeks she thought it was something that will end just like a normal disease after taking medication. However, as time progressed she still experienced the symptoms after a period of not using drugs which showed that it was something long-term. It was stressful since she was on strong ant allergies and inhalers which made her think that it was going to be difficult. To stay well nowadays she has to take medications and if she gets asthma attacks (difficulties in breathing to a point one feels like she is going to stop breathing) she puffs inhalers. She keeps warm, stays away from dust so as not to trigger the disease. Sometime she will use a nebulizer if she has intense difficulties in breathing. Keeping warm, avoiding cold places, proper medication, avoiding dust and other asthma triggers such as dust is what keeps her going. She took long to discover her conditions.

Besides having lived in Canada for three years and worked in a paint industry for 4 years, she traces her conditions from her mom. Her mom developed asthma as early as 18 years old thus her condition can be genetic. On the other hand, it can also be due to exposure to cold while in Canada or strong irritants while working. All these three are causes of asthma. For her she feels like it is too late to get permanent treatment since it is at an acute level where she also has chronic bronchitis. I discovered her acuteness since she could not complete sentences without taking poses to breathe. This is how far asthma can get.


From the above we can conclude that asthma is a serious disease that has negative effects on one’s health. Asthma derives from a state of persistent subacute airway inflammation caused by the interplay of genetics, innate immunity and the environment. Just from the ethnographic research, asthma affects the patient’s life and to some it can cause stress leading to depression. According to CDC statistics CDC Statistics: 25.7 million people have asthma where by 7 million are children under the age of 18 years. In the hospitals, there are 1.8 million ED visits yearly. About 3500 people die of asthma annually. Many of those with asthma link their condition to family and cold.

Also through my research I have learnt that asthma patients have airways that are hypersensitive and something small triggers it. Allergens such as dust mite, pollen, grass, and animal dander will always leave asthma patients sneezing and struggling to breath. Cold is a major causative agent and a trigger whereby, Cold dry air constricts the bronchus in turn causing bronchospasm which then triggers asthma attack when combined with other triggers. Even though asthma is not a psychosomatic disease, panic and anxiety can trigger it that is why patients are always advised to walk around with their inhalers and other drugs. Nebulizers and bronchodilators are the best treatment for those with acute asthma. Also, anti-inflammatory medications, aminophylline IV drip-2nd line, IV anti-inflammatory agents such as steroids and SQ Beta agonists such epinephrine are used to treat asthma.

Control and prevention involves controlling the asthma symptoms through patient teaching, medication therapy by use of inhalers and medical dosage appropriately, hydration, maintaining proper diet. Eating small frequent well-nourished meals (protein can be a problem) and avoiding ice cold beverages can help prevent and control asthma. All these is what patients and individuals should put into consideration. Since asthma can be genetic, whenever there is a family member who has asthma, it is good to visit the doctor as early as possible when experiencing symptoms of asthma. Early treatment is good since one can be healed permanently unlike treating after years of staying with asthma.

Conclusively. Asthma drugs are expensive yet this is a global problem. The government need to standardize the prices and offer a discount or reduce the prices so as all social classes can get access to the drugs. Inequality in the health sector is very rampant nowadays whereby, the rich will always get access to the best medicine while the poor will be given normal anti allergies and antibiotics as treatment. Asthma being a global problem, we need to educate everyone on prevention and treatment of the disease so as to reduce the cases of those dying of asthma. Non-prescription should be avoided unless directed by the by the doctor. Some drugs may increase risks for side effects toxic effects of prescription