The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute issued on Friday the updated clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management of asthma. Whereas the prior guidelines had focused on disease severity as the deciding factor for treatment decisions, the revised guidelines stress a more rigorous and ongoing assessment of control over asthma symptoms with an increased focus on minimizing asthma attacks and improving patients quality of life. The updated guidelines recommend physicians evaluate whether allergic triggers are contributing to moderate-to-severe asthma attacks and symptoms. Approximately 60 percent of the 20 million Americans with asthma have a specific type called allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is triggered by allergens such as mold, dust mites, pet dander and cockroaches. People with allergic asthma produce IgE (Immunoglobulin E) in response to allergic triggers, which can lead to asthma attacks and symptoms. Atopy, the genetic predisposition for the development of an IgE mediated response to common aeroallergens, is the strongest identifiable predisposing factor for developing asthma. Asthma is a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition. Every day in the U.S., about 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma, 30,000 people have an asthma attack, 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital and 14 people die. Furthermore, in a self reported survey of 1,812 patients with moderate-to-severe asthma, findings revealed that the disease was not controlled in 55 percent of patients, despite the fact that most had health insurance and visited their health care providers regularly.