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International Asthma Guidelines Follow The Lead Of Asthma And Respiratory Foundation NZ

GINA, the Global Initiative for Asthma, has released its strategy framework, and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) is delighted to see that the international asthma recommendations have changed to follow a similar approach to the New Zealand asthma guidelines.

The international strategy now has a separate algorithm based on the preferred option of 2 in 1 reliever therapy for people living with asthma. Last year, ARFNZ was the first to recommend a separate stepwise approach like this in its guidelines. GINA have now followed the recommendation.

The 2 in 1 reliever therapy, in which patients receive both a preventer and reliever treatment at the same time, allows close titration of both components of treatment in response to changes in asthma control.

"The 2 in 1 reliever therapy is considered the biggest paradigm advance in the management of asthma for decades," says ARFNZ Medical Director James Fingleton. "The ARFNZ guidelines were the first to recommend a separate algorithm with this as the preferred approach, and it is a real validation of our guidelines that the global recommendation is now similar."

The guidelines were heavily influenced by research undertaken by Professor Richard Beasley, Director of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) and lead author of the NZ Adolescent and Adult Asthma Guidelines 2020. Three large randomised controlled trials of the safety and efficacy of this novel approach were conducted, with two of the studies funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, representing the only independent trials in the field.

"This international validation of our approach to asthma management is really exciting," says Letitia Harding, Chief Executive of ARFNZ. "However, while we have led the way in this asthma research, New Zealand’s asthma statistics remain among the worst in the world. One in seven children and one in eight adults live with asthma in New Zealand, with Māori tamariki, mokopuna and whānau disproportionately affected."

Today (Tuesday 4 May) is the inaugural New Zealand Asthma Awareness Day - Aotearoa Te Rā Whakaarohia te Huangō. As part of the day, Dr Fingleton will be taking part in a live Facebook Q&A session, to discuss asthma-related issues and answer questions from the New Zealand community.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to share and promote awareness, and encourage self-management of asthma," says James. "I’m very happy to take the time to share respiratory health knowledge and awareness with our community."

Dr Fingleton’s Q&A will run from 1.30-2pm today on the ARFNZ Facebook.

For more information on Aotearoa - Te Rā Whakaarohia te Huangō go to worldasthmaday.org.nz

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