1. We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study of asthma therapy among young adults to assess to what extent the current guidelines for asthma therapy have been implemented. In particular, we examined the use of inhaled corticosteroids in heavy users of inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonists. 2. Data were retrieved from a population-based prescription database. For each of the years 1991 and 1994, all 20 to 44-year-olds who redeemed anti-asthma medication in the Odense area (210,000 inhabitants) were studied. 3. We identified the number of users and total sales volume for specific anti-asthma medications in defined daily doses (DDD) as well as the number of users and median annual doses of common regimens. Combined use of inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonists was also described. 4. The annual sales volume of anti-asthma drugs increased by 23% to 927,636 DDD from 1991 to 1994. Inhaled corticosteroids were mainly responsible for this with a 52% increase in number of users and an 88% increase in DDD. Inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonists used in monotherapy remained the most popular regimen in 1994 (1685 users = 39%). Inhaled corticosteroids in combination with inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonist were the second most popular regimen in 1994 (1308 users = 30%), increasing by 64% as compared with 1991. However, among patients with an annual use of inhaled beta-adrenoceptor agonist of 200 DDD (1600 "puffs') or more the percent of patients not receiving inhaled corticosteroids at all only fell from 37 to 33%. Though the number of patients being treated with inhaled corticosteroids has increased, there is still evidence of a substantial underuse.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between asthma, ear problems, and dental anxiety in children in a population-based cross-sectional study. The population included four municipalities in the County of North Jutland, Denmark, in 2001. A total of 1235 children aged 6-8 yr, and their parents, were identified. Data were obtained from a prescription database, from parental-answered questionnaires, and from dental records. Children with asthma were defined as children that had received prescriptions for both inhaled beta2-agonists and corticosteroids during the past year. Data on ear problems and dental anxiety were obtained from the questionnaires. Dental anxiety was measured using the Children's Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). Use of asthma-drugs was associated with dental anxiety (odds ratio = 1.70; 95% confidence interval 0.90-3.22). A history of often ear problems was also associated with dental anxiety (odds ratio = 1.83; 95% confidence interval 1.20-2.80). It is concluded that asthma and ear problems may be risk factors for dental anxiety in children.
A recurring epidemic of asthma exacerbations in children occurs annually in September in North America when school resumes after summer vacation.
Our goal was to determine whether montelukast, added to usual asthma therapy, would reduce days with worse asthma symptoms and unscheduled physician visits of children during the September epidemic.
A total of 194 asthmatic children aged 2 to 14 years, stratified according to age group (2-5, 6-9, and 10-14 years) and gender, participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the addition of montelukast to usual asthma therapy between September 1 and October 15, 2005.
Children randomly assigned to receive montelukast experienced a 53% reduction in days with worse asthma symptoms compared with placebo (3.9% vs 8.3%) and a 78% reduction in unscheduled physician visits for asthma (4 [montelukast] vs 18 [placebo] visits). The benefit of montelukast was seen both in those using and not using regular inhaled corticosteroids and among those reporting and not reporting colds during the trial. There were differences in efficacy according to age and gender. Boys aged 2 to 5 years showed greater benefit from montelukast (0.4% vs 8.8% days with worse asthma symptoms) than did older boys, whereas among girls the treatment effect was most evident in 10- to 14-year-olds (4.6% [montelukast] vs 17.0% [placebo]), with nonsignificant effects in younger girls.
Montelukast added to usual treatment reduced the risk of worsened asthma symptoms and unscheduled physician visits during the predictable annual September asthma epidemic. Treatment-effect differences observed between age and gender groups require additional investigation.
INTRODUCTION: The effect of ethnicity on the efficacy of salmeterol (S)+fluticasone propionate (FP) has not been examined in Japanese and Caucasian asthmatics. In this study, the efficacy of combination treatment with S and FP from a single inhaler (SFC) was compared with concurrent treatment with S and FP administration from separate inhalers (S+FP) in Japanese and Caucasian asthmatics. METHODS: This was a randomised, double-blind, crossover study in male and female Japanese (n=18) and Caucasian (n=17) asthmatics (50-100% predicted FEV(1); >35% reversibility in sGaw). Subjects received SFC (S 50 mcg/FP 250 mcg b.i.d.) and S+FP (S 50 mcg b.i.d.+FP 250 mcg b.i.d.) for 14 days. sGaw and FEV(1) were determined 0-12h after the first and last doses. RESULTS: Treatment with both SFC and S+FP produced marked bronchodilation, which was maintained 0-12h after the first dose. Baseline sGaw and FEV(1) increased up to 51% and 180 mL, respectively, in Japanese subjects over 2 weeks of treatment, with similar improvements in Caucasian subjects. On Day 14 the 0-12h S+FP:SFC treatment ratios (90% CI) for sGaw AUC and peak were 1.05 (0.98, 1.12) and 1.05 (0.97, 1.14), respectively, in Japanese subjects, and 0.99 (0.92, 1.07) and 0.98 (0.89, 1.07), respectively, in Caucasian subjects, with no difference between the two ethnic groups. CONCLUSIONS: The finding of a similar significant bronchodilator response in Japanese and Caucasian asthmatics following concurrent and combination treatment with salmeterol and FP suggests that the therapeutic response to these agents is comparable and independent of ethnicity in Japanese and Caucasian asthma patients.
Asthma accounts for considerable burden on health care, but in most cases, asthma can be controlled. Quality-of-care indicators would aid in monitoring asthma management. We describe the quality of asthma care using a set of proposed quality indicators.
We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study using health databases in Saskatchewan, a Canadian province with a population of about 1 million people. We assessed 6 quality-of-care indicators among people with asthma: admission to hospital because of asthma; poor asthma control (high use of short-acting beta-agonists, admission to hospital because of asthma or death due to asthma); no inhaled corticosteroid use among patients with poor control; at least moderate inhaled corticosteroid use among patients with poor control; high inhaled corticosteroid use and use of another preventer medication among patients with poor control; and any main preventer use among patients with poor control. We calculated crude and adjusted rates with 95% confidence intervals. We tested for differences using the chi2 test for proportions and generalized linear modelling techniques.
In 2002/03, there were 24 616 people aged 5-54 years with asthma in Saskatchewan, representing a prevalence of 3.8%. Poor symptom control was observed in 18% of patients with asthma. Among those with poor control, 37% were not dispensed any inhaled corticosteroids, and 40% received potentially inadequate doses. Among those with poor control who were dispensed high doses of inhaled corticosteroids, 26% also used another preventer medication. Hospital admissions because of asthma were highest among those aged 6-9 years and females aged 20-44 years. Males and those in adult age groups (predominantly 20-44 years) had worse quality of care for 4 indicators examined.
Suboptimal asthma management would be improved through increased use of inhaled corticosteroids and preventer medications, and reduced reliance on short-acting beta-agonist medications as recommended by consensus guidelines.
Cites: CMAJ. 2001 Apr 3;164(7):995-100111314453
Cites: MMWR Surveill Summ. 2007 Oct 19;56(8):1-5417947969
Cites: Can Respir J. 2001 Mar-Apr;8 Suppl A:5A-27A11360044
Suboptimal asthma control may be caused by a combination of factors, such as nonadherence to guidelines, lack of compliance, and poor asthma education. The aim was to assess patients' knowledge of asthma and different management strategies, including patients' attitudes toward involvement in treatment decisions. The participants (n=509) were recruited from all parts of Denmark through a web-based panel (Zapera Danmarkspanel). A questionnaire concerning asthma knowledge, compliance, and treatment was fulfilled through the Internet. Among the participating adult asthmatic patients, signs of uncontrolled disease with night asthma (16%), daily symptoms (18%), or exercise-induced asthma (11%) were found. Of 285 participants with persistent asthma, 70% used inhaled corticosteroids. Lung function was measured within the preceding 6 months in 24% of patients, whereas 7% had never had their lung function measured and peak flow monitoring was reported by 5%. Written action plans were provided for 12% of patients and 50% had had their inhaler technique checked. Although 59% of patients were instructed to adjust their controller therapy if needed, only 23% reported that they had done so. In conclusion, this study of adult asthmatic patients revealed an important deficit in patient education, little use of lung function measurements, and poor compliance with guidelines for asthma management. Furthermore, asthmatic patients want more education, although they do not use it when provided by their doctor, indicating that change in educational strategy is needed.
AIM: To study quality of life and asthma control in primary care. A total of 1,477 patients 15 to 45 years of age received questionnaires regarding asthma control (77% responded) and quality of life, Mini Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (MiniAQLQ), (74% responded). Patients using short-acting beta-agonists more than twice in the last week had clinically significant lower MiniAQLQ scores (5.17 versus 5.91). This finding was consistent for night awakenings during the previous week (4.42 versus 5.86), courses of oral corticosteroids (4.82 versus 5.69), and reported emergency consultations during the last 6 months (4.85 versus 5.71). Good asthma control is associated with better quality of life in asthma patients in primary care.
BACKGROUND: Objective assessment of airway function is important in epidemiologic studies of asthma to facilitate comparison between studies. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), peak expiratory flow (PEF) variability, and bronchodilator reversibility (BR) are widely used as markers of airway lability in such studies. Data from a survey of a population sample of adolescents and young adults (n = 609; 288 males), aged 13-23 years, were analyzed to investigate whether AHR, PEF variability, and BR can be used interchangeably as markers of asthma in an epidemiological setting. METHODS: Case history, including self-reported and doctor-diagnosed asthma, smoking habits, and use of asthma medication, was obtained by interview and questionnaire. Lung function, airway responsiveness (positive test: PC20 FEV1 20%), BR (positive test: deltaFEV1 [(FEV1max - FEV1min)/FEV1max) 100] > 10%), blood eosinophil count, and skin prick test reactivity were measured by using standard techniques. RESULTS: The prevalence of a positive test was AHR 16.4%, PEFpos 13.3%, and BRpos 7.2%, respectively; 73.5% of the sample had three negative tests. Among the 74 participants with current self-reported asthma (12.2%), 34 subjects (46%) had more than one positive test. Using AHR as the only objective marker of asthma identified 93% of the participants with current asthma, whereas PEF and BR identified 45% and 10%, respectively. Confining the analysis to participants with only one positive test revealed that 61% of the subjects with isolated AHR had current asthma, whereas none of the subjects with isolated BRpos had asthma, and only one participant with isolated PEFpos had current asthma. Degree of histamine responsiveness was closer associated with other asthma-related factors, including self-reported asthma, use of asthma medication, and level of lung function, than PEF variability and bronchodilator responsiveness. CONCLUSIONS: Airway responsiveness to histamine, diurnal peak-flow variability, and bronchodilator reversibility cannot be used interchangeably as objective markers of asthma in epidemiologic studies. On the basis of the present findings, airway hyperresponsiveness to a nonspecific bronchoconstrictor is recommended as the objective marker of asthma-related airway lability.
Many factors, including heredity, atopic status, and environment, have been implicated in the determination of asthma severity. Relatively little is known about the degree to which asthma duration influences asthma severity.
The Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP), consisting of 1041 children (age 8. 9 +/- 2.1 years at enrollment) with mild-to-moderate asthma, offers an opportunity to examine the relationship between asthma duration and asthma severity.
By using the extensive CAMP baseline cross-sectional data on asthma duration, spirometry, bronchial responsiveness, symptomatology, and markers of atopy, univariate and multivariate regression models were used to evaluate whether asthma duration is associated with asthma severity.
Duration of asthma in the study cohort from time of diagnosis until randomization into CAMP ranged from 0.3 to 12.1 years (mean, 5.0; SD, 2.7; median, 4.8). Asthma duration is associated in univariate analyses both with lower levels of several lung functions (P