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WAO Medical Book Reviews

January 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
2014 Oxford University Press

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

Reviewer 
Zeinab A El-Sayed, MD, PhD
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Unit, Children's Hospital
Ain Shams University
Cairo, Egypt

Description
Data from all over the world point to the fact that asthma diagnosis and treatment are suboptimal. One important reason is that asthma comorbid and coexisting conditions are often missed or are inappropriately managed. These conditions might cause asthma to exacerbate and become poorly controlled or produce symptoms that mimic those of asthma and lead to misdiagnosis of asthma or its overtreatment.

Purpose
Asthma: Comorbidities, Coexisting Conditions, and Differential Diagnosis addresses the above-mentioned problems and provides both the fundamentals and state-of-the-art information on the diagnosis and management of asthma and its comorbidities. The editors present this book believing that a physician dealing with an asthmatic individual should be knowledgeable in this regard and concerned with the entirety of the health of the patient.

Features
This is a single-volume book, very well edited by Richard Lockey and Dennis Ledford in collaboration with the World Allergy Organization. It categorizes the comorbid and coexisting conditions into eleven sections. Each section, under a single heading, such as immunologic, pulmonary, cardiac, psychological, and so forth, encompasses separate reviews on the conditions relevant to that heading.

Over seventy authors, highly recognized for their clinical and research expertise have contributed to the writing of 33 informative and well-structured reviews. Each review features key points and an introduction at its beginning and presents suggestions for future research and conclusive remarks at the end. The book contains also a number of illustrative figures and tables. Since it is sometimes difficult to differentiate a comorbidity from a coexisting condition – the former playing a role in the pathophysiology of asthma and its exacerbations, whereas the latter not necessarily so – the title of each review indicates to the reader whether the condition to be discussed is an asthma comorbidity or a coexisting condition or both and whether it is to be considered in its differential diagnosis.

Assessment and Audience
The book provides a comprehensive review on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma comorbidities and coexisting conditions and presents useful clinical information for physicians, pediatricians, internists, and allergists as well as for postgraduate students specializing in the field.