Poor Asthma control among US workers: health-related quality of life, work impairment, and health care use

J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Apr;56(4):425-30. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000123.


Objective: This study examined the impact of asthma control on health-related outcomes among employed US asthma sufferers treated with prescription medicines.

Methods: Data from the 2011 National Health and Wellness Survey (N = 75,000) were used. The Asthma Control Test, validated measures of health-related quality of life, work productivity and activity impairment, and questions assessing health care use were included.

Results: Of the 2026 employed asthma sufferers treated with prescription medicines included, 39.7% had Asthma Control Test scores indicating poorly controlled asthma. After adjusting for covariates, workers with poorly controlled asthma had worse health-related quality of life, work and activity impairment, and more health care use than those with well-controlled asthma.

Conclusions: Poorly controlled asthma in employed patients treated with prescription medicines is common, and associated with negative health outcomes. Workers, employers, and payers could all benefit from improvements in asthma control.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Efficiency*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • United States / epidemiology