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: 12.05). 01/2008; 120(6):1360-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.09.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Omalizumab is an add-on therapy for patients with uncontrolled severe allergic asthma. In Europe, patients must fulfil a number of additional criteria to become eligible for omalizumab therapy, creating a challenge for epidemiology studies to quantify the potential patient pool. Thus, and in the absence of robust data, the number of omalizumab-eligible patients has remained unclear. To assess eligible patient numbers, a chart-audit design approach was employed to measure epidemiology variables based on patient-level data. 770 patient charts were reviewed in designated towns in Germany and Italy, in collaboration with >200 primary care physicians (PCPs) and respiratory specialists (RS). This study sample represents >50% and >70% of local RS in these designated towns of Germany and Italy, respectively. Of patient charts evaluated, 4 patients were currently receiving omalizumab. A further 31 patients (12 PCP; 19 RS) were evaluated as omalizumab-eligible (i.e. fulfilled all product label criteria) but were not receiving the drug. Extrapolating to a national level, this yields >6500 eligible patients in Germany, and >3200 in Italy. Furthermore, this study sample revealed a significant number of PCPs treating uncontrolled severe asthma patients without referral to RS; these patients are not consistently evaluated for FEV1, aero-allergen sensitivity, a qualitative understanding of severe exacerbations, and day and night-time symptoms. This study suggests that significant numbers of omalizumab-naïve severe allergic asthma patients in Germany/Italy are eligible for omalizumab therapy. Despite proven benefits in uncontrolled severe allergic asthma, adjunctive omalizumab therapy is underutilized.
    Respiratory medicine 11/2013; · 2.33 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Only few longitudinal studies on the course of asthma among adults have been carried out. The aim of the present prospective study, carried out between 2000 and 2009 in Italy, is to assess asthma remission and control in adults with asthma, as well as their determinants. All the subjects with current asthma (21-47 years) identified in 2000 in the Italian Study on Asthma in Young Adults in 6 Italian centres were followed up. Asthma remission was assessed at follow-up in 2008-2009 (n = 214), asthma control at baseline and follow-up. Asthma remission and control were related to potential determinants by a binomial logistic and a multinomial logistic model. Separate models for remission were used for men and women. The estimate of the proportion of subjects who were in remission was 29.7% (95%CI: 14.4%;44.9%). Men who were not under control at baseline had a very low probability of being in remission at follow-up (OR = 0.06; 95%CI:0.01;0.33) when compared to women (OR = 0.40; 95%CI:0.17;0.94). The estimates of the proportion of subjects who were under control, partial control or who were not under control in our sample were 26.3% (95%CI: 21.2;31.3%), 51.6% (95%CI: 44.6;58.7%) and 22.1% (95%CI: 16.6;27.6%), respectively. Female gender, increasing age, the presence of chronic cough and phlegm and partial or absent asthma control at baseline increased the risk of uncontrolled asthma at follow-up. Asthma remission was achieved in nearly 1/3 of the subjects with active asthma in the Italian adult population, whereas the proportion of the subjects with controlled asthma among the remaining subjects was still low.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86956. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • SEMERGEN - Medicina de Familia 04/2014;