Update on asthma control in five European countries: results of a 2008 survey

Eur Respir Rev. 2010 Jun;19(116):150-7. doi: 10.1183/09059180.00002110.


The 2006 European National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) showed that a large proportion of asthmatics had uncontrolled asthma. The current analysis estimated the prevalence of asthma and asthma control (Asthma Control Test™ (ACT); QualityMetric Inc., Lincoln, RI, USA) in five European countries using the 2008 NHWS. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), using the Short Form-12 (SF-12) health survey, and work productivity/activity impairment were assessed. Of 3,619 respondents aged ≥18 yrs, the prevalence of self-reported physician diagnosis of asthma was 6.1% (15 million people); 56.6% of treated asthmatics were not well-controlled (NWC; ACT score ≤19). Individual components of the ACT showed that, compared with at least well-controlled patients (ALWC; ACT score ≥20), NWC patients had activity limitations at least some of the time (40.8% versus 1.5%, p<0.001), were breathless ≥3 times per week (72.5% versus 5.4%, p<0.001), suffered sleep difficulties due to asthma at least once per week (60.3% versus 4.6%, p<0.001) and required rescue medication ≥2-3 times per week (77.4% versus 15.9%, p<0.001). NWC patients had also received more healthcare contact in the past 6 ;months, including hospitalisation (17.4% versus 9.9%, p<0.001). The SF-12 physical and mental summary scores were 7.46 and 4.73 points higher, respectively, for ALWC patients compared with NWC patients (p<0.001). ALWC patients reported less absenteeism (5.5% versus 12.2%) and work impairment (15.4% versus 30.0%) than NWC patients (both p<0.001). The proportion of asthmatics with NWC asthma has not improved since 2006. ALWC asthma is associated with a significant positive impact on healthcare resource use, HRQoL and work productivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prevalence