Using genetics to predict the natural history of asthma?

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Clinical practice reminds us that there is considerable variability in the course of asthma over time. Treatment of patients with asthma would be considerably improved if one could accurately predict the likely course of disease over the life course. Recently, with the advent of the era of genome-wide association studies, there has been a monumental shift in our understanding of the genetic factors that underlie inherited susceptibility to asthma. Genes have been identified that modulate many aspects of the natural history of asthma, such as susceptibility to atopy, altered lung development, and susceptibility to more severe disease. Heritability studies have even suggested a role for genetic factors in remission of asthma. However, although the discovery of novel genetic factors underlying disease susceptibility has undoubtedly improved our understanding of disease pathogenesis, whether these advances have improved the ability to predict the natural history in individual patients is questionable, and the application of genetic testing to clinical practice remains some way off. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;126:200-9.) © 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.




Holloway, J. W., Arshad, S. H., & Holgate, S. T. (2010). Using genetics to predict the natural history of asthma? Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Mosby Inc.

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