Background: Despite health initiatives for advancing the management of asthma, evidence suggests that many asthmatic subjects have uncontrolled disease. However, the prevalence of uncontrolled asthma in the United States is not known and has not been fully characterized.
Objective: We sought to assess the prevalence, morbidity, and factors associated with uncontrolled asthma in a nationally representative sample of patients with moderate-to-severe asthma using standard asthma medications.
Methods: A Web-based survey was administered to patients with diagnoses of asthma for at least 1 year who were receiving multiple controller medications. The Asthma Control Test score was used to stratify respondents into controlled and uncontrolled cohorts.
Results: A total of 1812 patients were assessed; 809 (45%) had controlled asthma, and 1003 (55%) had uncontrolled asthma. Most patients had health care coverage and received care from a general practitioner; a large proportion of patients with controlled asthma (74%) and patients with uncontrolled asthma (65%) reported never receiving an asthma action plan. Inhaled corticosteroid plus long-acting beta-agonist was the most common medication regimen in patients with controlled asthma (60%) and patients with uncontrolled asthma (48%) patients. Patients with uncontrolled asthma reported significantly higher rates of health care use. Several comorbidities were predictive of uncontrolled asthma.
Conclusion: Uncontrolled asthma is highly prevalent (55%) in patients using standard asthma medications. There is need for improved asthma care in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma, including a global evaluation of asthma control, implementation of treatment plans and asthma control tests, and addressing comorbid conditions.
Clinical implications: Improved asthma care requires broader assessments of asthma control, including asthma-related health care and medication use, comorbidities, and the implementation of treatment plans and formal asthma control tests.