Thousands flee, highway closed as Army, BIFF clash in Maguindanao 27-Feb-15, 11:38 AM | Edwin O. Fernandez, Philippine News Agency | Video report by News5

Special tax exemption for Manny Pacquiao? 28-Feb-15, 2:15 AM | Jelly F. Musico, Philippine News Agency

10 more Abu Sayyaf slain in Sulu fighting 28-Feb-15, 8:28 AM | Philippine News Agency

Russian opposition leader Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow 28-Feb-15, 8:06 AM | Alexander Winning, Reuters

One billion young at risk of hearing loss from loud music: WHO 28-Feb-15, 3:33 AM | Agence France-Presse

Watch out for nasty global flu surprises, WHO warns 28-Feb-15, 12:14 AM | Kate Kelland, Reuters

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83 28-Feb-15, 1:18 AM | Will Dunham, Reuters

Special Features | World

Asthma patients may not need daily steroids - study

Shown is an inhaler used to help asthma patients breathe better during an asthma attack. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The online news portal of TV5

WASHINGTON DC - Asthma patients may not need daily doses of inhaled steroids according to a study out Tuesday, a finding that could alter treatment for millions suffering from the respiratory ailment.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that people who use corticosteroids every day to control mild asthma do no better than those who use them only when they have symptoms.

"The discovery that these two courses of treatment do not differ significantly could eventually change the way doctors and patients manage asthma, providing an option that is easier to follow and possibly less expensive," said lead author William Calhoun in a statement.

Calhoun and his team drew their conclusions after monitoring more than 340 adults with mild to moderate persistent asthma in an attempt to assess different strategies for long-term asthma care.

Making note of bronchial reactivity, lung function, days missed from school or work and the exacerbation of symptoms and attacks over a period of nine months, they found "no measurable difference" among treatment methods, according to the statement.

"We hope our findings prompt patients to talk with their doctors and become more active participants in effectively managing their condition," Calhoun said.

Currently, asthma patients are generally prescribed a twice-daily dose of an inhaled corticosteroid, such as beclomethasone or fluticasone, as well as albuterol to open the airways in the event of serious symptoms.

Some 25 million people in the United States have asthma. Taking into account medical expenses, missed days of school and work and premature deaths, the illness costs about $3,300 per individual on an annual basis, according to the statement.

The findings are published in the September 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.