Top 10 Asthma Studies

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Top 10 Asthma studies

The results range from increased asthma control, reduction of inhaled steroids, improvement in quality of life, reduction of asthma symptoms and severe attacks. Some of the studies saw benefits as early as 5 days and improvement continuing during the complete 6 month study. Patients in the studies were as young as 3 years old and all age of adults.

1st Study- 2005, Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Canada

64 patients, all of whom were using inhaled corticosteroids, after 6 months improved their asthma control from 41% to 75% (Proceedings, 2006). Decrease in inhaled corticosteroids was found in 39% patients, elimination of steroids in 21%.

Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 2006; 3: A530.

2nd- Study- 2006, Gisborne Hospital, Gisborne, New Zealand

8 children, from 8 to 14 years old, in 12 weeks reduced their average b2-agonist use (salbutamol) by 66%. Inhaled steroid (fluticasone) use reduced by 41% McHugh et al, 2006). While 11 courses of prednisone were given 3 months before the trial, only 1 course of prednisone was given three months after the trial.

McHugh P, Bruce Duncan P, Houghton F, Buteyko breathing technique and asthma in children: a case series, New Zealand Medical Journal Vol 119 No 1234 May 2006.

3rd Study- 2008 Calgary COPD and Asthma Program, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Cowie RL, Conley DP, Underwood MF, Reader PG, A randomized controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma, Respir Med. 2008 May; 102(5): p. 726-732.

4th Study- 2003, Gisborne Hospital, Gisborne, New Zealand (asthma)

In this blinded randomized controlled trial conducted in 38 people with asthma Buteyko Breathing Technique group was compared with control (McHugh et al, 2003). The Buteyko group was taught by a Buteyko practirtioner Russell Stark. As in the previous western trials, the Buteyko group reduced inhaled steroid use by 50% and fl2-agonist use by 85% at six months from baseline. In the conclusions, the medical professionals wrote that the method is “efficacious asthma management technique”. The instructions for the Buteyko group were provided by Russell Stark.

McHugh P, Aitcheson F, Duncan B, Houghton F, Buteyko breathing technique for asthma: an effective intervention, New Zealand Medical Journal 2003; 116: p. 1187.

5th Study- 2003, Division of Respiratory Medicine, City Hospital, Nottingham, United Kingdom (asthma)

90 patients with asthma taking an inhaled corticosteroid participated in a randomized controlled trial. The groups were followed in 3 and 6 month periods (Cooper et al, 2003). Asthma symptoms remained unchanged in the PCLE and placebo groups, but were diminished in the Buteyko group. It was concluded that the Buteyko breathing technique is able to reduce asthma symptoms and decrease the use of bronchodilator medication.

Cooper S, Oborne J, Newton S, Harrison V, Thompson Coon J, Lewis S, Tattersfield A, Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: a randomized controlled trial, Thorax 2003; 58: p. 674-679.

 6th Study- 2003, Glasgow, United Kingdom (asthma)

According to the recent press release (4 December, 2003) of the British Thoracic Society (the UK’s professional body of respiratory specialists), nurse, Jill McGowan, organized the world’s largest clinical trial on the Buteyko method for asthma with over 360 people who completed the study in Glasgow.

The control group was able: – to reduce asthma symptoms by 98%; – to reduce use of reliever inhalers by 98%; – to reduce use of preventor inhalers by 92%.

These results were found after 6 months (McGowan, 2003). This self-funded trial was possible due to heroic and sacrificial, in financial terms, efforts of the Buteyko practitioner Jill McGowan.

McGowan J, Health Education: Does the Buteyko Institute Method make a difference? Thorax, 58, Suppl. III, p. 28 December 2003.

7th Study- 2005, Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Canada

64 patients, all of whom were using inhaled corticosteroids, after 6 months improved their asthma control from 41% to 75% (Proceedings, 2006). Decrease in inhaled corticosteroids was found in 39% patients, elimination of steroids in 21%.

Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 2006; 3: A530.

 8th Study- 1999, Alfred Hospital, Prahan, Australia (asthma)

18 patients with mild to moderate asthma were taught the Buteyko method by a video and compared with 18 control subjects (Opat et al, 2000). The study found a significant improvement in quality of life and significant reduction in inhaled steroid use.

Opat AJ, Cohen MM, Bailey MJ, Abramson MJ, A clinical trial of the Buteyko Breathing Technique in asthma as taught by a Video, J Asthma 2000; 37(7): p. 557-564.

9th Study- 1995, Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia (asthma)

20 patients with a long history of asthma and significant medication. In 3 months, they decreased use of relievers (bronchodilators) by 96%, preventers (inhaled steroids) by 49%. Minute volume decreased from 14 l/min to 9.6 l/min. The symptoms’ score was improved by 71% (Bowler et al, 1998).

Bowler SD, Green A, Mitchell CA, Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomized controlled trial, Med J of Australia 1998; 169: p. 575-578.

10th Study- 1981, Sechenov’s Med Inst, Moscow, USSR (asthma, with pneumonia, rhinitis, chronic tonsillitis)

52 children (34 in-patients and 18 out-patients; 3-15 years old) with regular asthma attacks (once per day or more); 41 of them had pneumonia, 27 rhinitis, 36 chronic tonsillitis. All had problems with breathing through the nose, palpitations, and were bronchodilator users. In 1-5 days the patients were able to stop the attacks, cough, blocked nose, and wheezing, using the method. Observations in 1-3 months showed considerable improvements (cessation of heavy attacks or a total disappearance of the symptoms) in 83%, some improvement (less heavy attacks and considerable reduction in medication) in remaining 17%. Their average CP increased from 4 to 30 s, aCO2 from 25 to 36 mm Hg. Higher blood concentrations of IgA, IgM, IgG, and IgE were found, according to laboratory reports. Blood pressure normalised, forced expiratory volume raised over 5 times. Significant increases in lung volume, expiratory speed, and other parameters were found. Average breath holding time (CP) increased from about 3-6 s to over 30 s. For more information on this trial, visit

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