Background: The 2007 Expert Panel Report 3 asthma treatment guidelines place substantial emphasis on understanding the effectiveness of treatment strategies on outcomes such as disease control.
Objective: To assess the impact of asthma control on patient-reported outcomes and disease burden in a real-world setting.
Methods: Patients aged 18 to 64 years with moderate to severe asthma defined by medical and pharmaceutical use were asked to participate in a cross-sectional survey of asthma care, control, and burden. Patients were included if they had an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code for asthma, a prescription for an Expert Panel Report 3-defined controller medication (or combinations), and 24-month pre-index continuous eligibility. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were excluded. Survey respondent data were linked to commercial health claims information to create the research database. The Asthma Therapy Assessment Questionnaire (ATAQ) was used as the measure of control. The ATAQ scores range from 0 to 4, with 0 indicating no asthma control problems.
Results: A total of 1,199 patients (73% women) completed the survey and had their claims data linked for analysis. Age, sex, and comorbidity index measures did not differ between respondents and nonrespondents. Only 12.2% of respondents scored 0 on the ATAQ, 77.0% scored 1 or 2, and 10.8% scored 3 or 4. The ATAQ scores were moderately correlated with patient-rated severity. Decreasing levels of asthma control were associated with greater prevalences of sleep problems, depression, functional impairment, and effect on work and regular activities.
Conclusions: Approximately 88% of patients with moderate to severe asthma were not fully controlled despite anti-inflammatory drug treatment. Lack of asthma control is associated with substantial patient burden.
Copyright 2010 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.