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Open Access Comorbidities associated with severe asthma

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Severe asthma can be a challenging disease to manage by the provider and by the patient, supported by evidence of increased health-care utilization by this population. Patients with severe asthma should be screened for comorbidities because these often contribute to poorly controlled asthma. The impact of comorbidities, however, are not completely understood.


To review common comorbidities and their impact on severe asthma.


A review of relevant clinical research studies that examined comorbidities in severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.


A number of comorbid diseases, including rhinitis, rhinosinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux, and obstructive sleep apnea, are associated with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma. If present and untreated, these conditions may adversely affect asthma control, quality of life, and/or lung function, despite adequate treatment with step-up asthma controller therapy.


Treatable comorbidities are associated with severe and difficult-to-control asthma. Failure to recognize these comorbidities may divert appropriate care and increase disease burden. Assessment and management of these risk factors may contribute to improved asthma outcome; however, more investigation is needed to understand the relationship of comorbidities and asthma due to inconsistency in the findings.

Keywords: Severe asthma; asthma exacerbation; comorbidities; difficult-to-control asthma; gastroesophageal reflux; lung function; obstructive sleep apnea; rhinitis; rhinosinusitis; sinusitis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

This article was made available online on August 20, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Severe asthma: A focus on diagnostic risk assessment and costs".

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  • The Journal of Precision Respiratory Medicine (JPRM) is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely information regarding cutting edge advancements in the knowledge and practice of respiratory medicine. Its primary readership extends to all medical providers with an interest in respiratory diseases.

    The incorporation of the term, 'precision medicine' in its title serves to direct the journal's focus on this revolutionary approach to disease prevention and treatment that takes into account the individual differences which result from the interplay of lifestyle, environment and human biology/genetics.

    JPRM seeks to publish articles characterized by both a predominant clinical focus and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. JPRM welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Pulmonary Conference (EPC) JPRM will publish content from EPC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EPC lectures.

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