So far, 5400 people have been contacted, of which 1319 have reached the evaluation phase in the mobile unit, which has already travelled through 17 municipalities. The results of the study should be known in early 2024, but, according to Jaime Correia de Sousa, "it is possible to understand, through the evaluation of the results of the pilot study in the ULS of Matosinhos, that this study is highly important, since the nature and quality of the data collected will allow a comprehensive characterisation of the patients and a better support to the clinical management of the disease".
The data is not clear, but the most pointed out is about 700 thousand asthma patients in Portugal, of which 35 thousand may have the most severe form of the disease. But where are we today in terms of asthma prevalence? The answer will be known soon, since the "Epi-asthma - Prevalence and characterisation of people with asthma, according to the severity of the disease, in Portugal" is entering its final phase of data collection.
This study aims to determine the prevalence of asthma, as well as to characterise the profile of the asthmatic patient, "a very important factor when it comes time to treat", says João Fonseca, immuno-allergologist and one of the scientific coordinators of the study, "because, for example, the influence that severe asthma has on the patient's daily life is totally different from mild or moderate asthma, as the frequency and intensity of symptoms and attacks is much greater, as well as the difficulty in controlling the disease".
Epi-asthma, an initiative of the Institute for Research in Life and Health Sciences (ICVS), from the University of Minho (UMinho), the Research Centre in Health Technologies and Services (CINTESIS), from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto (FMUP) and AstraZeneca, takes place throughout the Portuguese mainland, together with physicians from 38 Primary Health Care units.