Objective: To identify the types, frequency and impact of asthma triggers and the relationship to asthma control among adults with asthma in Europe.
Methods: Adults with self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma receiving maintenance asthma treatment and self-reported exposure to known asthma triggers completed an online questionnaire; a subset completed a diary over 3-4 weeks. Information on asthma control (Asthma Control Test™ [ACT]), asthma triggers, frequency of exposure and behaviours in response or to avoid asthma triggers and the perceived impact on daily life was captured. A post-hoc analysis evaluated the impact of high trigger burden on the frequency of severe asthma exacerbations, hospitalisations and days lost at work/study.
Results: A total of 1202 adults participated and 177 completed the diary. Asthma was uncontrolled for the majority (76%) of participants and most (52%) reported exposure to 6-15 asthma triggers. As trigger burden increased, behavioural changes to manage trigger exposure had a significantly increased impact on daily life (p < 0.0001) and job choice (p = 0.002). Participants reporting a high trigger burden (>16) were more likely to report uncontrolled asthma than those with a low trigger burden (1-5). Participants with a high trigger burden had previously experienced on average two more severe asthma attacks during a lifetime (p < 0.001), two more hospitalisations (p < 0.001) and 3.5 more missed days at work or study in the last year due to their asthma (p < 0.001) than those with a low trigger burden.
Conclusions: Adults with asthma reporting a high trigger burden (>16 different triggers) experience more severe asthma attacks than those reporting lower trigger burdens.