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WAO Medical Book Reviews

February 2015

Asthma: Comorbidities, Coexisting Conditions, and Differential Diagnosis
Edited By: Richard F Lockey and Dennis K Ledford with the World Allergy Organization
ISBN: 978-0-19-991806-5

List price: Hard cover $60.00 USD / £ 39 GBP
Available from: Oxford University Press

Juan Carlos Aldave, MD
Hospital Nacional Edgardo Rebagliati Martins
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Lima, Peru

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by lower airway inflammation, hyperresponsiveness, obstruction, and remodeling. Its complex pathogenesis and variable influencing factors result in several disease phenotypes and endotypes. Asthma affects about 300 million individuals worldwide, representing an important cause of morbidity and mortality, and a significant public health issue. Appropriate management of patients can significantly improve quality of life, prevent major complications, and reduce socio-economic burden.

Despite the recent advances in diagnostic and therapeutic tools, an important proportion of patients with asthma persist with uncontrolled disease. Common reasons include the presence of comorbidities, coexisting conditions, or even alternative diagnosis. As a need to overcome these problems, the current book provides an extensive source of information on the diagnosis and treatment of each comorbid condition that affects asthma, which will aid the caring physician to successfully manage affected individuals.

The book content is organized into eleven sections, each one considering several conditions that can influence asthma control or that can be diagnosed incorrectly as asthma. Section number one reviews the diagnosis and management of immunologic diseases such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, vasculitis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and immunodeficiencies. The second section emphasizes pulmonary conditions, for example sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia. Cardiac and cardiovascular conditions are analyzed in section number three, while section four reviews several diseases affecting the upper airway such as allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and vocal cord dysfunction. Section number 5 is dedicated to gastroesophageal reflux, and section six to metabolic conditions including obesity, osteoporosis, and pregnancy. Finally, psychological issues, exercise, environmental factors, advanced age, food allergy, and atopic dermatitis are reviewed within sections seven to 11. The key points at the beginning of each chapter represent an outstanding feature of this book.

Assessment and Audience 
A comprehensive clinical reference on asthma comorbidities, coexisting conditions, and differential diagnosis will provide priceless and practical information for the allergist, pneumologist, pediatrician, general practitioner, researcher, and student interested in this disease.