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Poor Asthma Control Prevalent in the United States

About half of patients do not use controller meds; few who do have well-controlled disease

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with asthma who do not use controller medications have persistent disease, and among those patients who do use controller medications, few have well-controlled disease, according to a study published in the March issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

To investigate disease control among patients with asthma, Gene L. Colice, M.D., from Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues surveyed 1,000 patients with asthma about their use of inhalation devices and asthma-related burden, medication use, and hospital/emergency care, using the Comprehensive Survey of Healthcare Professionals and Asthma Patients Offering Insight on Current Treatment Gaps and Emerging Device Options (CHOICE).

The researchers found that 490 of the patients were not using controller medications. Of those not using controllers, 79 percent had persistent asthma and 47 percent had mild or moderate persistent asthma. Of the 510 using controllers, 14.3 percent had their disease well controlled. Patients with persistent asthma or not-well-controlled/poorly-controlled asthma had greater acute care utilization than those with intermittent or well-controlled asthma.

"These findings confirm that asthma management falls short of national asthma-management targets," the authors write. "As the definitions of asthma severity and asthma control evolve, it is clear from the results of the CHOICE survey that many patients with untreated asthma might benefit from long-term controllers, and many asthma patients on long-term controllers are not adequately managed."

Several study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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