BACKGROUND: Approximately 30% to 50% of patients with moderate/severe asthma have inadequately controlled disease despite adherence to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) therapy. Data on prevalence and burden of uncontrolled asthma in specialty settings are lacking.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence and burden of uncontrolled asthma in respiratory specialist clinics in the United States.
METHODS: Adults with physician-diagnosed asthma attending pulmonary and allergy clinics with self-reported ICS use in the previous 4 weeks completed an electronic questionnaire including the Asthma Control Test and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire. Additional information was collected using an electronic case report form.
RESULTS: Of 774 patients attending 12 pulmonary and 12 allergy clinics, 53% were not well controlled (mean [SD] Asthma Control Test, 14.3 [3.6] vs 22.4 [1.6] in well-controlled patients). Among ICS/LABA users, 56% were not well controlled, which increased with increasing ICS dose (low-dose 45.7%; high-dose 59.7%). The not well-controlled group reported more respiratory illnesses, more comorbidities, and poorer health-related quality of life (mean [SD] St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, 46.1 [18.9] vs 19.8 [12.9] in the well-controlled group). These patients also had more asthma exacerbations (≥1 exacerbation, 68.9% vs 43.1%) and increased health care resource utilization (≥1 asthma-related hospitalization, 10.7% vs 2.7%); 27.3% were also receiving systemic corticosteroids. Approximately 40% of the population were eligible for step-up to ICS/LABA/long-acting muscarinic antagonist triple therapy, and 20% were eligible for biologic therapy.
CONCLUSION: Substantial unmet needs exist among patients with inadequately controlled asthma managed in United States specialist settings, which may be addressed by improved patient and physician education, better guideline implementation, and improved adherence.