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Mild and severe asthma may be two diseases

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LONDON, Aug 26, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Severe asthma and mild asthma may be different conditions with different inflammatory processes, says a study in the European Respiratory Journal.

The study, partly funded by the European Union and conducted by scientists across Europe, looked at 158 patients with mild to moderate asthma and 163 patients with severe asthma.

The researchers found both groups had very different levels of key chemicals in their blood. They also found that while more men suffered from asthma, women were four times as likely to suffer from severe asthma.

The BBC reported those with mild or moderate asthma were able to control their symptoms with low doses of inhaled corticosteroids -- drugs routinely prescribed for people with asthma.

However, very few with severe asthma were able to have their symptoms treated despite being treated with heavier does of drugs.

According to the British National Asthma Campaign, survival rates for very severe asthma are poor.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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