Elliot Israel, MD, director of Clinical Research in the Pulmonary Division, has received research funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The $13.9-million award will fund a five-year project to test the effectiveness of daily use of a preventative inhaler versus symptom-based use for reducing asthma exacerbations in African-American and Hispanic adults. Funding for the study, which is called the Patient Empowered Strategy to Reduce Asthma Morbidity in Highly Impacted Populations (PESRAMHIP), is part of PCORI's initiative to support pragmatic clinical studies to evaluate patient-centered outcomes.
More than 25 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma, and almost 10 million have had an asthma attack leading to more than 10 million days of lost work and an equal number of days missed from school. Attacks can lead to more than half a million emergency room visits and can progress to hospitalization and death. African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos bear a disproportionate share of that morbidity with two to three times the death rate from asthma as Caucasians. Despite introduction of national guidelines for asthma treatment, the gap between these groups and whites has been stable or widening.
One way to prevent exacerbations is by using an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) each day, but many patients do not regularly use an ICS because they feel well enough without it and worry about overusing a seemingly unnecessary medication. Many solely rely on their reliever inhaler during an attack instead. The new Patient Activated Reliever-Triggered Inhaled CorticoSteroid strategy presents an alternative to daily use of an ICS inhaler, in which patients use an ICS at the same time as they use their reliever inhaler. PESRAMHIP is the first attempt to test the effectiveness of this strategy on a large scale in real-world situations.
PCORI is an independent non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.