Background: Only few longitudinal studies on the course of asthma among adults have been carried out.
Objective: The aim of the present prospective study, carried out between 2000 and 2009 in Italy, is to assess asthma remission and control in adults with asthma, as well as their determinants.
Methods: All the subjects with current asthma (21-47 years) identified in 2000 in the Italian Study on Asthma in Young Adults in 6 Italian centres were followed up. Asthma remission was assessed at follow-up in 2008-2009 (n = 214), asthma control at baseline and follow-up. Asthma remission and control were related to potential determinants by a binomial logistic and a multinomial logistic model. Separate models for remission were used for men and women.
Results: The estimate of the proportion of subjects who were in remission was 29.7% (95%CI: 14.4%;44.9%). Men who were not under control at baseline had a very low probability of being in remission at follow-up (OR = 0.06; 95%CI:0.01;0.33) when compared to women (OR = 0.40; 95%CI:0.17;0.94). The estimates of the proportion of subjects who were under control, partial control or who were not under control in our sample were 26.3% (95%CI: 21.2;31.3%), 51.6% (95%CI: 44.6;58.7%) and 22.1% (95%CI: 16.6;27.6%), respectively. Female gender, increasing age, the presence of chronic cough and phlegm and partial or absent asthma control at baseline increased the risk of uncontrolled asthma at follow-up.
Conclusion: Asthma remission was achieved in nearly 1/3 of the subjects with active asthma in the Italian adult population, whereas the proportion of the subjects with controlled asthma among the remaining subjects was still low.