Background: Clinical tools for predicting poor outcomes in asthma patients are lacking. This study investigated the association of asthma control and subsequent severe asthma-related healthcare events in The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) study.
Methods: The extent of asthma control problems was determined from baseline values of the Asthma Therapy Assessment Questionnaire (ATAQ). Patients self-reported the presence of severe asthma-related events at 6- and 12-month follow up. Poisson regression models determined the adjusted association between baseline control and the likelihood of severe asthma-related events.
Results: At baseline, 2942 patients (mean age, 49.6 years; female, 71.9%) had an ATAQ score (no control problems, 17.0%; 1 control problem, 20.0%; 2 control problems, 30.8%; 3 or 4 control problems, 32.2%) and at least one severe asthma-related event. After adjustment, subjects with three or four control problems were at greater risk for unscheduled office visits [relative risk (RR) = 2.8; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.4-3.2], course of oral steroids (RR = 2.9; 95% CI: 2.5-3.3), emergency room visits (RR = 4.1; 95% CI: 2.7-6.2) or hospitalization (RR = 13.6; 95% CI: 7.4-24.9), vs no control problems. Progressively poorer levels of asthma control are associated with increasing risk of severe asthma-related events.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence of an association between poor asthma control and future severe asthma-related healthcare events. A validated questionnaire may help clinicians identify patients requiring intervention to prevent future severe asthma-related events.