San Francisco—A paradigm shift has occurred over the past four decades in the treatment of asthma, a disease that during that time has increased in prevalence worldwide, particularly in urban areas of the industrialized West.
This change reflects a greater understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma. Once considered a disease of reversible bronchoconstriction, asthma is now considered a chronic inflammatory disease with the potential to cause irreversible deterioration of pulmonary function. Anti-inflammatory agents, inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) chief among them, have become mainstays of asthma therapy.
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