oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Evidence-based pharmacy practice (EBPP) : asthma control in adults : review

Volume 77, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Asthma has been known since antiquity, yet it is a disease that still defies precise definition. The word is of Greek origin and means ''panting''. More than 2 000 years ago Hippocrates used the word to describe episodic shortness of breath. However, the first detailed clinical description of an asthmatic patient was made by Aretaeus in the second century.

The control of asthma is defined as reducing both impairment and risk domains. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with regular treatment. The prognosis is good with adequate access and adherence to treatment, and most asthma deaths are preventable with treatment. One of the key features of the new South African Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Asthma in Adolescents and Adults published in 2007 is an emphasis on defining and achieving control of asthma. This article will focus on asthma control in adults.

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