Asthma that is not well-controlled is associated with increased healthcare utilization and decreased quality of life

J Asthma. 2011 Mar;48(2):126-32. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2010.535879. Epub 2010 Dec 6.


Background: Relationships of asthma control to other asthma outcomes have been incompletely documented.

Objective: This study examined the relationship between asthma control and health-related quality of life (HRQL) and subsequent healthcare resource utilization.

Methods: A 1-year online prospective longitudinal survey was conducted in 497 adults and 170 children with asthma treated in the past year. Control was measured by Asthma Control Test™ (ACT) and Childhood ACT™ (C-ACT)™ scores dichotomized into "well-controlled" (scores >19) or "not well-controlled" (scores ≤19), and HRQL was measured using the PedsQL™ 3.0 Asthma Module (children) and the SF-12 Health Survey (adults). Multivariate models were used for analysis.

Results: HRQL scores were significantly lower for adults (mean decrease 3.4) and children (mean decrease 12.8) whose asthma was not well-controlled compared to patients with well-controlled asthma. Adults with asthma that was not well-controlled at baseline had a threefold greater risk of an asthma-related doctor visit and a 10-fold greater risk of an emergency department (ED) visit for asthma in the subsequent 9 months (odds ratio (OR) = 3.3 and OR = 11.3, respectively). Children with asthma that was not well-controlled had a nearly fivefold increased risk for subsequent asthma-related doctors' and ED visits (OR = 4.8 and OR = 4.9, respectively).

Conclusion: Both adults and children with not well-controlled asthma had significantly lower quality of life and were more likely to require an office or ED visit for asthma compared to patients with higher ACT scores. Therefore, it is important to continually assess asthma control and adjust controller therapy accordingly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / psychology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents