Asthma is a major public health problem affecting the lives of several hundred million people around the world, with an increasing prevalence in developing countries. Governments, and the general public, face huge direct and indirect costs, with major effects on macroeconomics due to health-care costs, loss of productivity and the absenteeism of patients. Unfortunately, a high number of unmet needs remain to be resolved, due to gaps in current scientific knowledge in pathophysiology and in patient care, and as a result of the global social determinants of health.
To tackle this huge global health problem, we at the EAACI decided to develop a “Global Atlas of Asthma”. With this Atlas, our aims were: to gather evidence to call attention to the burden of asthma, to warrant its recognition as a main concern in national health strategies; to demonstrate its priority as an issue for research; to describe risk factors for asthma; to evaluate the best ways to prevent and control it; to provide guidance on how to overcome barriers; and to alert political bodies to the issue of asthma to ensure a global management approach.
The “Global Atlas of Asthma” has been developed as an essential reference source for multi-sectoral use, covering all aspects of asthma, from epidemiology, risk factors and mechanisms to phenotypes and management, to major current problems in asthma, associated diseases, and asthma prevention and control. With 59 chapters written by 80 contributing authors, and containing 147 illustrations and 46 tables, the Atlas will also be a comprehensive educational tool and desktop reference for medical students, allied health workers, primary care physicians, medical industry, policy makers, patient organizations and specialists dealing with asthma and other comorbid diseases.
Published by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology