Background: Patients with severe persistent asthma experience daily symptoms and frequent serious exacerbations that contribute to a significant impairment of health-related quality of life (QoL).
Methods: A pooled analysis was completed of six controlled clinical trials that evaluated the effect of add-on omalizumab on asthma-related QoL in patients with severe persistent allergic (IgE-mediated) asthma. Asthma-related QoL was assessed at baseline and treatment endpoint using the well-validated Juniper Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ). Change from baseline in AQLQ total score was compared between treatments using analysis of covariance methods. The percentage of patients who achieved a clinically meaningful (> or = 0.5-point) improvement in AQLQ total score was compared using the Mantel-Haenszel Chi-square test.
Results: The pooled patient population comprised 2548 patients (omalizumab, n = 1342; control, n = 1206), of whom 96% had severe persistent asthma according to the GINA 2002 classification. Omalizumab produced significantly greater improvements in AQLQ total score vs the control group (mean increases of 1.01 and 0.61 points, respectively; p < 0.001). In addition, significantly more omalizumab-treated patients achieved a clinically meaningful improvement in AQLQ total score than patients in the control group (66.3% vs 52.4%; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Add-on therapy with omalizumab improves QoL to a significant and clinically meaningful level in patients with severe persistent allergic asthma.