Asthma control in Europe: A real-world evaluation based on an international population-based study

Unit of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Medicine and Public Health, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 01/2008; 120(6):1360-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.09.019
Source: PubMed


Epidemiologic evidence related to asthma control in patients from the general population is scanty.
We sought to assess asthma control in several European centers according to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines and to investigate its determinants.
In the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II (1999-2002), 1241 adults with asthma were identified and classified into inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) users and non-ICS users in the last year. Control was assessed in both groups by using the GINA proposal (controlled, partly controlled, and uncontrolled asthma), and it was related to potential determinants.
Only 15% (95% CI, 12% to 19%) of subjects who had used ICSs in the last year and 45% (95% CI, 41% to 50%) of non-ICS users had their asthma under control; individuals with uncontrolled asthma accounted for 49% (95% CI, 44% to 53%) and 18% (95% CI, 15% to 21%), respectively. Among ICS users, the prevalence of uncontrolled asthma showed great variability across Europe, ranging from 20% (95% CI, 7% to 41%; Iceland) to 67% (95% CI, 35% to 90%; Italy). Overweight status, chronic cough and phlegm, and sensitization to Cladosporium species were associated with poor control in ICS users. About 65% and 87% of ICS users with uncontrolled and partly controlled asthma, respectively, were on a medication regimen that was less than recommended by the GINA guidelines.
Six of 7 European asthmatic adults using ICSs in the last year did not achieve good disease control. The large majority of subjects with poorly controlled asthma were using antiasthma drugs in a suboptimal way. A wide variability in asthma control emerged across Europe.
Greater attention should be paid to asthma management and to the implementation of the GINA guidelines.

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Available from: Christer Janson, Jul 30, 2015
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    • "Although treatment with bronchodilators and inhaled glucocorticosteroids (ICS) normally provide good control of the disease, a significant proportion of the asthmatic patients have persistent symptoms despite conventional therapy [3]. This phenomenon, called uncontrolled asthma [4,5], represents a key challenge for increasing asthma control. Little is known about the inflammatory and remodeling processes causing persisting symptoms in this group of asthmatics. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Whether distal inflammation in asthmatics also leads to structural changes in the alveolar parenchyma remains poorly examined, especially in patients with uncontrolled asthma. We hypothesized that patients who do not respond to conventional inhaled corticosteroid therapy have a distinct tissue composition, not only in central, but also in distal lung. Methods Bronchial and transbronchial biopsies from healthy controls, patients with controlled atopic and patients with uncontrolled atopic asthma were processed for immunohistochemical analysis of fibroblasts and extracellular matrix molecules: collagen, versican, biglycan, decorin, fibronectin, EDA-fibronectin, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and tissue-inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-3. Results In central airways we found increased percentage areas of versican and decorin in patients with uncontrolled asthma compared to both healthy controls and patients with controlled asthma. Percentage area of biglycan was significantly higher in both central airways and alveolar parenchyma of patients with uncontrolled compared to controlled asthma. Ratios of MMP-9/TIMP-3 were decreased in both uncontrolled and controlled asthma compared to healthy controls. In the alveolar parenchyma, patients with uncontrolled asthma had increased percentage areas of collagen, versican and decorin compared to patients with controlled asthma. Patients with uncontrolled asthma had significantly higher numbers of myofibroblasts in both central airways and alveolar parenchyma compared to patients with controlled asthma. Conclusions Tissue composition differs, in both central and distal airways, between patients with uncontrolled and controlled asthma on equivalent doses of ICS. This altered structure and possible change in tissue elasticity may lead to abnormal mechanical properties, which could be a factor in the persistent symptoms for patients with uncontrolled asthma.
    Respiratory Research 06/2014; 15(1):67. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-15-67 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "In more detail, 85% of the asthmatic adults who had used ICSs in the last 12 months were not able to achieve total control of the disease: 49% of them had uncontrolled asthma and 36% had partly controlled asthma. Among those who had not used ICSs in the last 12 months, 18% had uncontrolled and 36% had partly controlled asthma [48]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical research showed that asthma control is an achievable target. However, real-life observations suggest that a significant proportion of patients suffer from symptoms and report lifestyle limitations with a considerable burden on patient's quality of life. The achievement of asthma control is the result of the interaction among different variables concerning the disease pattern and patients' and physicians' knowledge and behaviour. The failure in asthma control can be considered as the result of the complex interaction among different variables, such as the role of guidelines diffusion and implementation, some disease-related factors (i.e., the presence of common comorbidities in asthma such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sleep disturbances and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and rhinitis) or patient-related factors (i.e., adherence to treatment, alexithymia, and coping strategies). Asthma control may be reached through a tailored treatment plan taking into account the complexity of factors that contribute to achieve and maintain this objective.
    12/2013; 2013:549252. DOI:10.1155/2013/549252
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    • "Even so, there are some patients who remain uncontrolled despite therapy,4–6 and progressive asthma-related worsening of lung function can occur, regardless of the treatment used.4,7,8 The most recent asthma guidelines recommend treatment according to control, but real-life studies show that optimal control is not reached at all in many patients.9–11 It has been suggested that one reason for therapeutic failure may be impairment of the small airways.12,13 "
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    ABSTRACT: Small airways disease plays an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma, but assessment of small airways impairment is not easy in everyday clinical practice. The small airways can be examined by several invasive and noninvasive methods, most of which can at present be used only in the experimental setting. Inhalers providing extrafine inhaled corticosteroid particle sizes may achieve sufficient deposition in the peripheral airways. Many studies have reported the beneficial effects of extrafine inhaled corticosteroids on inflammation, ie, on dysfunction in both the central and distal airways in asthmatics, and there are some data on asthma phenotypes in which the small airways seem to be affected more than in other phenotypes, including nocturnal asthma, severe steroid-dependent or difficult-to-treat asthma, asthma complicated by smoking, elderly asthmatic patients and/or patients with fixed airflow obstruction, and asthmatic children. The relevant randomized controlled clinical trials indicate that the efficacy of extrafine and nonextrafine inhaled corticosteroid formulations is similar in terms of primary endpoints, but there are certain clinically important endpoints for which the extrafine formulations show additional benefits.
    Journal of Asthma and Allergy 06/2013; 6(6):69-80. DOI:10.2147/JAA.S25415
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