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ObjectiveTo explore the evidence for adopting a "treatable traits" approach to asthma management.Data sourcesPubMed, Medline, and Google Scholar.Study selectionsThe above-mentioned databases were searched for randomized, controlled phase III or IV trials of adults containing the word "asthma" in the title published in the previous 10 years and for all articles containing the title words "treatable AND trait(s)," "asthma AND biomarker(s) OR smoking OR obesity OR laryngeal OR management" published within the previous 5 years. Articles were excluded if they were not published in English. Our search identified 257 articles for consideration. We also manually searched the reference lists of studies identified and searched the websites of the British Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and Global Initiative for Asthma for specific guidance related to asthma management.ResultsThe "treatable traits" are described within 3 domains of pulmonary, extrapulmonary, or behavioral and lifestyle traits. We consider whether treatment should be targeted toward these traits where they are present in asthma patients, based on currently available evidence, rather than increasing treatment in response to symptoms in line with current step-up, step-down asthma management guidelines.ConclusionWe advocate that a treatable traits approach should be applied more broadly to the assessment and management of inadequately controlled asthma, rather than a step-up, step-down approach based on patient symptoms. This approach should be focused on the 2 treatable pulmonary traits of TH2 inflammation and airflow obstruction along with smoking cessation, in the first instance.

Original publication




Journal article


Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology

Publication Date





390 - 397


Respiratory Medicine Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Electronic address:


Lung, Humans, Asthma, Phenotype, Adult