Karim el Ferkh

Karim el Ferkh
PhD Title
Burden of asthma co-morbidity in the UK: secondary analyses of national databases from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Funded by
Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Department of Health
Supervisors
Prof Aziz Sheikh, Dr Bright Nwaru/Prof Chris Griffiths (Edinburgh/QMUL)
Based at
University of Edinburgh

Burden of asthma co-morbidity in the UK: secondary analyses of national databases from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Affecting almost 300 million people in the world, asthma is typically a life-long heterogeneous disease, hence effective control and management remain the goals of treatment. Key indicators of successful asthma control include minimal or no symptoms, no restrictions on activities, optimal pulmonary function, and minimal or no side-effects of treatment.Poor asthma control is believed mainly to result from inadequate treatment as a result of under-estimating impact on everyday life and/or needs and problems with adherence to recommended treatments. An important, hitherto largely ignored consideration is the impact of co-morbid diseases. A number of conditions (e.g., allergies, gastro-oesophageal reflux, obesity, and depression) may occur more frequently in patients with asthma than in individuals without asthma. These co-morbid conditions may be associated with poor asthma control, impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and increased healthcare and social care utilisation.
Growing literature provides evidence on the complexity of asthma with its many underlying pathophysiology. Globally, scientists are working to elucidate this heterogeneity of the disease; starting with examination of asthma phenotypes (which reflect the observable characteristics and clinical presentation of asthma) towards asthma endotypes (which are determined by functional or pathophysiological mechanism of the disease).

Aims

  • Estimate the prevalence, time-trends and health care utilisation of asthma co-morbidity in the UK and describe how these vary by different covariates.
  • Describe the developmental trajectories of asthma co-morbidity and associations between co-morbidity and asthma, asthma phenotypes and outcomes (e.g exacerbations, hospitalisations and deaths)
  • Quantify NHS costs associated with asthma co-morbidities.

About me

I am 25 year old PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of Balamand, Lebanon and my Master’s of Science in Epidemiology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. I have worked as a research assistant for 2 years at the Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program, and WHO Collaborating Center for Metabolic Bone Disorders, at the American University of Beirut. I was also the administrator of the Scholars in HeAlth Research Program (SHARP), a major capacity building initiative funded by the NIH, to advance the agenda of non-communicable diseases nationally, and regionally.

My research interests are in non-communicable diseases and health economics.

Publications

  • Poster: El Ferkh, K.; Nwaru, BI. Griffiths, C.; Sheikh, A., (2015) Burden of asthma co-morbidity in the UK: secondary analyses of national databases from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • Abstract: Arabi A, Khoueiry-Zgheib N, Mahfouz R, Awada Z, Rahmeh M, Firikh K, El Hajj Fuleihan G, (2013) CYP2R1 Genetic Polymorphisms Are Associated With Variability In 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Levels In The Elderly. ASBMR
  • Pending: “Hypovitaminosis D: A Link between Bone and Fat Fuel Metabolism”. Funded by AUB, SJU and LCNRS. NCT01315366; clinicaltrials.gov (Pending publication: 2015)

Acknowledgements

Funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Department of Health

© 2015 AUKCAR