What is it about?

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; including emphysema and chronic bronchitis) are long-term conditions affecting the lungs. Asthma and COPD are often considered separate diseases, although they share some symptoms; some types of asthma have similar underlying causes to some types of COPD. Most research studies choose patients with either asthma or COPD, and exclude patients with both diagnoses (sometimes called asthma–COPD overlap). This means our current understanding of what causes these lung conditions, and how they relate to each other, is poor. NOVELTY is a study of around 12,000 patients with a diagnosis of asthma, COPD or both diagnoses, from 19 countries across North and South America, Europe and Asia. Most patients with any of these conditions are eligible for NOVELTY. The study aims to follow patients for 3 years, to better understand: a) their symptoms b) the different types of these lung conditions and the relationships between them c) how these symptoms and types lead to better or worse outcomes for patients over time.

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Why is it important?

Asthma and COPD are amongst the most studied chronic diseases but progress in finding new, more effective treatments has been slow and disappointing. NOVELTY is a very large, global and innovative study that goes beyond the scope of similar, previous studies to change the way people think about these diseases. It is enhanced by the wide range of patients from diverse settings, and by the fact that many different types of information are being collected over time. NOVELTY will provide a unique source of data that can be used to understand the similarities and differences between patients with asthma, patients with COPD and patients with both diagnoses. The study aims to identify new underlying causes of these diseases to enable treatments that are driven by biology, rather than by the broad diagnoses currently used. A greater understanding may result in more personalised healthcare, with treatments that are better tailored to each patient based on their specific type of disease.

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This page is a summary of: Prospective observational study in patients with obstructive lung disease: NOVELTY design, ERJ Open Research, February 2019, European Respiratory Society (ERS), DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00036-2018.
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