ASTHMA Underdiagnosed and Undertreated

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According to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, asthma is one of the most underdiag-nosed and undertreated conditions in the United States. Common reasons for this problem on the part of patients and health care professionals include the following:

? Not recognizing that a person has asthma.

? Not expecting enough from therapy.

? Not understanding the benefits and risks of different therapies.

? Not appreciating the chronic nature of asthma.

? Not adhering to preventive therapy.

? Not accurately assessing the severity of an episode.

? Not recognizing signs of deterioration.

? Not treating episodes adequately.

? Not identifying triggers associated with the patient?s asthma and failing to minimize or prevent exposure to such triggers (eg, cigarette smoke).

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