The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) released its definition of asthma on Wednesday, making a few changes to the first edition.
For starters, it added a new term to describe the condition: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
A new condition, the AASM said in its report, chronic obstructives pulmonary disease is characterized by persistent and severe bronchial hyperresponsiveness, a persistent cough, sneezing, shortness of breath, cough, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
It was first diagnosed in the early 1990s and has since been described in more than 30,000 medical documents.
The new term also includes chronic obstructivities to lung function, including COPD and chronic obstructural heart disease.
In addition, the definition included COPD as a separate condition that may also be classified as a chronic obstructor disease, meaning that its effects are not limited to the lungs.
“These changes provide a much clearer picture of the underlying condition and help to reduce confusion,” said Michael McBride, senior vice president for research and development for the AAAI.
Also, the new definition added asthma as a disorder of chronic bronchitis, a condition that affects about 1 in 10 people.
“We need to recognize that we have a much more nuanced view of the condition and a much richer understanding of how it’s associated with other conditions,” said Dr. Mark Schlesinger, a pulmonary disease specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.
This is important because a diagnosis of COPD is a predictor of the severity of a range of chronic lung conditions, including asthma, at least in some cases, he said.
“A diagnosis of asthma can help guide a diagnosis and treatment for the individual.
It’s also a marker for many other chronic conditions,” Schlesingers said.
Although asthma is the second most common chronic lung condition, it accounts for about 1% of all cases in the U.S. and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among U.P.S., the AAAA said.
The change is also significant because asthma has not been listed in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a book used to diagnose and treat mental health disorders.
In addition to the new term, the AAIA also added COPD to its list of chronic respiratory disorders.
The new definition also included COPDs as a disease with an associated comorbidity that was not specified.”COPDs are the most common form of respiratory illness, accounting for about 10% of the world’s population, and more than 50% of those who die from it,” the report said.
The American Association of Respiratory and Critical Care Physicians (AARP) also said that the new rule will have a big impact.
“The AASIAD defines asthma as chronic obstructivity, and this is important as asthma is one of the most widely recognized and disabling chronic lung diseases in the world,” said Rick Ritter, senior executive director of respiratory medicine at AARP.
“It is an important step in making it easier for people to get the right diagnosis and manage their symptoms, especially with the rising prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States.”