11 Jul 2014

New asthma regime to help Maori

7:04 pm on 11 July 2014

A treatment regime for asthma which will significantly benefit Maori needs to be better promoted by health providers, a doctor says.

The SMART method means using just one inhaler, which is both a reliever and a preventer, such as Symbicort or Vannair.

Research released last year by the University of Auckland showed it reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks.

Fifteen percent of participants in the study were Maori, and it found compared to others in the study, they were less likely to have an exacerbated attack, less likely to go to hospital, and did not need to use other medication.

Dr Matire Harwood, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, was one of the researchers in the SMART study.

She said there were problems with Maori not accessing new treatments, such as this method, so it was important health professionals ensured their patients had access to it.