Author(s): R. Ramakrishna, R. Haribabu, S. Hari Priya, J. Tejaswi, Sd. Mehatab Banu, N. Vamsi Krishna, Y. Sushma Lakshmi

BACKGROUND Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the air ways and is of heterogenous aetiology characterized by episodes of wheeze, chest tightness, cough and shortness of breath. It is one of the most common diseases worldwide and nearly 300 million suffer from attacks of bronchial asthma every year.1 METHODS We have taken a total of one hundred patients diagnosed as bronchial asthma, aged above 18 years and analysed their age, gender, duration of illness, frequency of symptoms, diurnal variation, time of attack of bronchial asthma and season of attack. We analysed the severity with peak flow meter and spirometry and analysed the reversibility of airway obstruction at the time of diagnosis 15 minutes after salbutamol dry powder inhalation. RESULTS Age of the patients ranged from 21 to 60 years. In our study of hundred patients, 55% are females and rest are males. Peak prevalence is seen among both males and females in the 41-60 years age group. 52% patients had 2 to 5 years of history. 31% had less than 2 years of history and 17% showed more than 5 years of history. 33% of the patients had daily attacks with nocturnal symptoms and 19% had attacks more than twice weekly requiring rescue medication. Diurnal variation was seen in 66% of the patients. 59% of the patients had attacks predominantly seen in winter and 14% had attacks throughout the year. 9% of patients showed summer-time attacks of bronchial asthma. 18% had attacks in rainy season. Only 13% patients showed >12% reversibility in FEV1 at the time of enrolment. At the time of enrolment mild obstruction was seen in 21%, moderate obstruction in 33%, and severe obstruction in 44%. Symptoms improved every week. Good response with 80% of patients showing more than 60% FEV1 was seen after 4 weeks of treatment. 20% patients continued to have less than 60% FEV1 and 12% of them have less than 40% FEV1 after 4 weeks of treatment. CONCLUSIONS Asthma occurred predominantly in 40-60 years of age. Females outnumbered males in our study. More than half the patients gave a history of 2-5 years. Half the patients had more than twice weekly attacks. Diurnal variation was seen in two thirds. Winter attacks were predominant in 59% and 14% of patients showed no seasonal variation. More than 12% reversibility was seen in only 13% at the time of admission into the study. 80% of patients improved symptomatically at the end of four weeks.

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