Asthma Poorly Controlled in 2008-2010

Writing in the June, 2014, edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers note that “an estimated 23 million Americans have asthma, of whom at least 12 million experience an asthma exacerbation every year. Clinical practice guidelines focus on asthma control, with an emphasis on reducing both impairment and risk.” The authors looked at “patterns of asthma prevalence, self-reported medication use, and indicators of control in a nationally representative sample…..Of the 102,544 subjects asked about an asthma diagnosis, 9,782 reported lifetime asthma, and 8,837 reported current asthma. Five thousand five subjects (4.8% of the population) reported experiencing an asthma exacerbation in the previous year. Four thousand five hundred twenty-one subjects used a quick-relief inhaler for asthma symptoms, and 14.6% used more than 3 canisters of this type of medication in the past 3 months. Of this group, 60% were using daily long-term control medication but still required significant use of quick-relief inhalers, whereas 28% had never used long-term control medication. Of those who had a recent exacerbation, 29% were using daily preventive medication, whereas 54% had never used long-term control medication.” The researchers conclude that “Improvement of asthma control continues to be a US public health concern. Results suggest suboptimal asthma control with underuse of long-term control medications, overuse of quick-relief inhalers, and a significant number of self-reported asthma exacerbations.”

The journal abstract is available online.