Asthma is a major public health problem worldwide and is associated with excess morbidity, mortality, and economic costs associated with lost productivity. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program has released the 2020 Asthma Guideline Update with updated evidence-based recommendations for treatment of patients with asthma..
..From 20 572 identified references, 475 were included in the 6 systematic reviews to form the evidence basis for these recommendations. Compared with the 2007 guideline, there was no recommended change in step 1 (intermittent asthma) therapy (as-needed short-acting β2-agonists [SABAs] for rescue therapy). In step 2 (mild persistent asthma), either daily low-dose ICS plus as-needed SABA therapy or as-needed concomitant ICS and SABA therapy are recommended. Formoterol in combination with an ICS in a single inhaler (single maintenance and reliever therapy) is recommended as the preferred therapy for moderate persistent asthma in step 3 (low-dose ICS-formoterol therapy) and step 4 (medium-dose ICS-formoterol therapy) for both daily and as-needed therapy.
A short-term increase in the ICS dose alone for worsening of asthma symptoms is not recommended. Add-on long-acting muscarinic antagonists are recommended in individuals whose asthma is not controlled by ICS-formoterol therapy for step 5 (moderate-severe persistent asthma). Fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing is recommended to assist in diagnosis and monitoring of symptoms, but not alone to diagnose or monitor asthma. Allergen mitigation is recommended only in individuals with exposure and relevant sensitivity or symptoms.
When used, allergen mitigation should be allergen specific and include multiple allergen-specific mitigation strategies. Subcutaneous immunotherapy is recommended as an adjunct to standard pharmacotherapy for individuals with symptoms and sensitization to specific allergens. Sublingual immunotherapy is not recommended specifically for asthma. Bronchial thermoplasty is not recommended as part of standard care; if used, it should be part of an ongoing research effort.
Conclusions and Relevance Asthma is a common disease with substantial human and economic costs globally. Although there is no cure or established means of prevention, effective treatment is available. Use of the recommendations in the 2020 Asthma Guideline Update should improve the health of individuals with asthma.