Asthma Uncontrolled in More Than 40 Percent of Adults With the Disease, New Landmark Survey Shows

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 General News
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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. and TORONTO, May 20 Nearly half of adult Americans with asthma and more than a quarter of childrenwith asthma who responded to a nationally representative survey do not havetheir disease well controlled, according to the Asthma USA survey, which waspresented today at the International Conference of the American ThoracicSociety meeting in Toronto.

The survey found that not well controlled asthma had significant medicalconsequences. Adults with uncontrolled asthma were more likely to requiretreatment with oral corticosteroids, visit the emergency department or beadmitted to the hospital than those whose asthma was well controlled. Childrenwith uncontrolled asthma were also more likely to require urgent medical care.Past research has shown that uncontrolled asthma can put patients at risk forincreased asthma symptoms, sudden asthma attacks, hospitalizations and evendeath.

"We have made quantum leaps in asthma treatment in the last decade, butthe Asthma USA results demonstrate that enormous numbers of patients areliving with asthma that is still not well controlled, putting them atsignificant health risk," said David Stempel, MD, director of clinicalmedicine for GlaxoSmithKline. "These findings remind us that improvements incare have not been uniform and underscore the critical need to improveeducation for both patients and healthcare providers in the management ofasthma."

According to the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for theDiagnosis and Management of Asthma, signs of poor asthma control includewaking at night with asthma symptoms, trips to the hospital and the need forquick-relief medication such as albuterol more than twice a week for asthmasymptoms.

The survey examined responses from more than 81,500 households, withasthma control assessed with the Asthma Control Test(TM) (ACT), a validatedassessment questionnaire recommended by national treatment guidelines fordetermining a patient's level of asthma control. Of the more than 10,000adults with self-reported asthma taking the ACT, 41 percent had a score of 19or less, which indicates not well controlled asthma.

The survey also examined scores from the Childhood Asthma Control Test andACT to determine the level of asthma control in more than 3,000 childrenrespondents* between the ages of 4 and 17 and found that asthma control inchildren is also deficient. According to the findings, 31 percent of childrenwith asthma between the ages of 4 and 11 and 25 percent of those between 12and 17 did not have well-controlled asthma.

About the Asthma USA Survey

The Asthma USA study was conducted by GlaxoSmithKline in cooperation withNational Family Opinion Survey Group and designed to evaluate uncontrolledasthma and assess demographic variables associated with asthma risk in thegeneral population of the United States.

This was a cross sectional mailed survey administered to a representativenational sample of 134,401 households recruited from a consumer panel ofhouseholds managed by NFO/TNS in May, June and July 2007, a time whenasthma-related medical complications traditionally see a seasonal decline.Surveys were returned for 60.6 percent of households, including information on10,139 adults with a self-reported physician diagnosis of asthma completingthe Asthma Control Test. Data for 38,323 children aged 4 to 17 was returnedwith a total of 1,991 children 4 to 11 years with asthma and 1,265 adolescents12-17 years with asthma included in the survey.

The data presented at the ATS meeting represents the first phase of thestudy which is the baseline data. A subset of the initial population will befollowed on a quarterly basis to generate longitudinal data on asthma control,missed work and school, medication use and seasonal variation in asthmacontrol.

About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease. Resea

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