Patients with severe asthma who had individualized treatment targeted to their specific asthma traits had significantly improved health-related quality of life and asthma control, according to study results published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Patients with severe asthma were assessed using a multidimensional assessment of pulmonary, extrapulmonary, and risk factor/behavior domains to determine treatable traits. Individualized interventions were then targeted to the identified traits of each patient. The primary study outcome was health-related quality of life and secondary outcomes included asthma control, exacerbations, airway and systemic inflammatory markers, and health status.

Among the 140 patients in this cross-sectional study, a mean of 10.44 treatable traits per patient were identified. These resulted in an average of 3.01 traits in the pulmonary domain, 4.85 traits in the extrapulmonary domain, and 2.58 traits in the risk factor/behavioral domain. For each additional trait identified there was both a clinically and statistically significant decrease in health status on the St. George Respiratory questionnaire (r=0.61; P <.001). Furthermore, targeting treatment to an individual’s traits led to a clinically and statistically significant improvement in health-related quality of life (P <.001).

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“Multidimensional assessment and targeted management of severe asthma allows for the detection of treatable traits that can be targeted using a personalized medicine approach,” the investigators wrote. “This approach significantly improves health status in people with severe asthma and represents a new approach to this complex disease.”

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McDonald VM, Clark VL, Cordova-Rivera L, Wark PAB, Baines KJ, Gibson PG. Targeting treatable traits in severe asthma: a randomised controlled trial [published online December 5, 2019]. Eur Respir J. doi:10.1183/13993003.01509-2019