Aim: To compare the degree of asthma control in 2001 and 2005 in a primary care setting in Sweden.
Method: Two similar questionnaire surveys were performed in 2001 and 2005 with 1,012 and 224 asthma patients aged 18-45 randomly selected from 42 and 56 primary health care centres, respectively. A classification of asthma control similar to the GINA guidelines was made using information obtained from the questionnaire.
Results: In 2001, 36.6% had achieved asthma control, 23.8% were partly controlled and 39.6% uncontrolled. In 2005, the corresponding figures were 40.2%, 26.8% and 33.0%, respectively, with no difference between the two surveys (p=0.114). Uncontrolled asthma was more common in women (p<0.001 in the first and p<0.05 in the second survey) and smokers (p<0.01 in the first and p<0.01 in the second survey). The use of combination corticosteroid/long-acting bronchodilator inhalers had increased - 34.2% and 48.2%, respectively (p<0.001) - and many patients used their inhaled corticosteroids periodically.
Conclusion: In spite of treatment guidelines many patients in Swedish primary care still have insufficient asthma control.