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Eur Respir J. 2008 Dec;32(6):1433-42. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00053108.

The Brussels Declaration: the need for change in asthma management.

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  • 1Infection, Inflammation and Repair AIR Division, Level F, South Block, MP810, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK.


Asthma is a highly prevalent condition across Europe and numerous guidelines have been developed to optimise management. However, asthma can be neither cured nor prevented, treatment choices are limited and many patients have poorly controlled or uncontrolled asthma. The Brussels Declaration on Asthma, sponsored by The Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research Charity, was developed to call attention to the shortfalls in asthma management and to urge European policy makers to recognise that asthma is a public health problem that should be a political priority. The Declaration urges recognition and action on the following points: the systemic inflammatory component of asthma should be better understood and considered in assessments of treatment efficacy; current research must be communicated and responded to quickly; the European Medicines Agency guidance note on asthma should be updated; "real world" studies should be funded and results used to inform guidelines; variations in care across Europe should be addressed; people with asthma should participate in their own care; the impact of environmental factors should be understood; and targets should be set for improvement. The present paper reviews the evidence supporting the need for change in asthma management and summarises the ten key points contained in the Brussels Declaration.

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