Pathophysiology and pharmacological management of asthma from a nature-nurture perspective
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Pathophysiology and pharmacological management of asthma from a nature-nurture perspective

John Clancy Senior lecturer in physiology applied to health care, School of nursing sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Deborah Blake Nurse practitioner, Holt Medical Practice, Norfolk

The maintenance of health depends on nature (associated with genes) and nurture (associated with lifestyle and living conditions) interactions at an intracellular chemical level. Asthma is a common, chronic lung disease affecting more than five million people in the UK, but there is uncertainty about the development of this disease. This article will discuss the pathophysiology of asthma as a cellular or chemical homeodynamic imbalance of inflammation and bronchial hyperactivity. Understanding of such imbalance supports the pharmacological rationale of treatment. The article will explore what has been discovered to date through human genomic research, introduce some of the theories associated with the development of asthma from a nature-nurture perspective and highlight potential developments in the diagnosis and management of the condition.

Primary Health Care. 23, 7, 34-41. doi: 10.7748/phc2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 21 November 2012

Accepted: 27 March 2013

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