NICE has published NICE Guideline (NG) 80 on Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma managementwhich covers diagnosing, monitoring, and managing asthma in adults, young people, and children.

Asthma is the most common chronic condition to affect children, and in the UK approximately 5.4 million people currently receive treatment for asthma. Asthma outcomes in the UK have not improved in the past 15 years, and the personal and economic costs of poor asthma control are high. It is hoped that publication of NICE NG80 will lead to improvements in:

  • the accuracy of diagnosis
  • helping people to control their asthma
  • reducing the risk of asthma attacks.

NICE NG80 recommends that an asthma diagnosis should not be made without the use of an objective test (such as fractional exhaled nitric oxide, spirometry, or peak flow variability). It also makes recommendations on pharmacological treatment options for people with newly diagnosed asthma or people whose asthma is uncontrolled with their current treatment, stating that people whose asthma is well controlled on their current treatment should not have their treatment changed purely to follow the guideline.

To reflect the recommendations made in NICE NG80, NICE has updated Quality Standard (QS) 25 on AsthmaQuality statement 1 on diagnosis was amended to:

  • People with newly diagnosed asthma are diagnosed in accordance with NICE guidance.

A full update of NICE QS25 is expected in September 2018.