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Airway Remodeling in Asthma: Pathogenesis and Clinical Significance

Harsha H Kariyawasam, MBBS, PhD

Currently, 8 million people in the UK (an estimated 13% of the population) have a diagnosis of asthma and approximately 5.1 million are treatment-dependent [1]. The prevalence of asthma has increased four-fold in the last two decades [2] and is consistent with an epidemic. Despite the estimated therapeutic cost of £850 million per year to the UK National Health Service, 74% of asthmatics still experience symptoms [1]. Approximately 10% of asthmatics remain treatment-refractory and experience severe debilitating disease; these patients account for 50% of the therapeutic cost [3]. In addition, nearly 1300 asthma-related deaths still occur each year in the UK [4]. Control of severe asthma is often not possible with the current treatments available, as stated in the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines [5]. Therefore, there is an urgent unmet clinical need in asthma.

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