Awareness of Asthma Genetics in Pakistan: A Review with Some Recommendations

Muhammad Farooq Sabar, Muhammad Akram, Farheena Iqbal Awan, Muhammad Usman Ghani, Mariam Shahid, Zafar Iqbal, Samra Kousar, Muhammad Idrees


About 334 million people worldwide have been affected by asthma and additionally 100 million expected to have asthma by the year 2025. Being the sixth most populous and economically developing country and with the increasing trend of urbanization and due to poor health facilities, lacking the knowledge of the causes of the disease, increased pollutant exposures and consanguineous marriages, Pakistani population has greater chances of asthma and allergic diseases. Almost 20% of overall pediatric population of Pakistan is affected by this disease. In the past, only environmental factors were considered responsible for asthma but now it is a well-known fact that genetic factors have major contribution in the development of the disease. Poor knowledge of the possibility of genetics involved in this disease has been very common in both uneducated as well as educated population of this region. There is no doubt today that genetics have a major role in the exhibition of asthma but unlike other Mendelian disorders it cannot easily be identified by a single or a simple set of associated genes, rather small contributions of multiple genes and environmental exposure to asthmatic patients may be found. Our focus in this article is genetic factors of asthma in Pakistan. More than 100 genes associated with asthma have already been reported in different populations worldwide but generally, due to an ignored disease in this region, possible genetic causes, impacts, management and treatment of the disease has rarely been studied in Pakistan. This article was intended to explore some latest developments in asthma genetics, diagnosis, prognosis and management and suggest some recommendations to control this deadly disease.

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