Background: Few data on asthma management are available for the Asia-Pacific region.
Objective: This study examined asthma symptoms, health care use, and management in the Asia-Pacific region.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey, followed by administration of a questionnaire in a face-to-face setting in the respondents' homes in their language of choice. Urban centers in 8 areas were surveyed: China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Results: A population sample of 3207 respondents with physician-diagnosed asthma was identified by screening 108,360 households. Daytime asthma symptoms were reported by 51.4% of respondents, and 44.3% reported sleep disturbance caused by asthma in the preceding 4 weeks. At least 2 in every 5 respondents (43.6%) had been hospitalized, attended a hospital emergency department, or made unscheduled emergency visits to other health care facilities for treatment of asthma during the previous 12 months. Overall, 15.3% of respondents reported that they had required admission to the hospital for asthma treatment. Asthma severity correlated with the frequencies of hospitalizations and emergency visits for asthma in the past year. Even in those patients with severe persistent asthma, 34.3% regarded their disease as being well or completely controlled. Current use of an inhaled corticosteroid was reported by only 13.6% of respondents, and 56.3% used quick-relief bronchodilators. Absence from school and work in the past year was reported by 36.5% of children and 26.5% of adults.
Conclusion: As reported for other regions, current levels of asthma control in the Asia-Pacific region fall markedly short of goals specified in international guidelines for asthma management.