PMID: 3342674Mar 1, 1988Paper

Death from bronchial asthma

Chest
E D Robin

Abstract

There is now incontrovertible evidence that there is a progressive and strikingly increased mortality from bronchial asthma in the US. The increase is more dramatic in the older age groups, but younger age groups are not spared. The exact cause or causes of this increased mortality are not known, and it is even possible (although not likely) that the increase is artifactual. This increased death rate is in sharp contrast to the general medical perception that major advances in the management of bronchial asthma have occurred. Perhaps they have, but if so, more patients are dying during this period of advances than were dying before. The most prudent course would be to assume that the excess deaths are iatrogenic in origin and to act accordingly. Even if this assumption is flawed, acting on it would improve the management of patients with bronchial asthma. If it is true that the major purpose of risk-benefit analysis is to improve patient outcome rather than merely analyze risk-benefit balance, then a series of proposals can be generated to grapple with this problem in bronchial asthma.

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