Shocking Study shows the US is slipping in asthma control

Asthma is a common illness, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. In the US approximately 10% of children and 8% of US adults have the disease. Despite the fact that it is treatable, approximately 180,000 people die as a result of asthma each year, 4,000 of them in America.

Maybe now we know why.  According to results of a first of its kind survey, 49% of children and adults with persistent asthma are not using controller medications.

The results of the 1,000 asthma sufferer CHOICE (Comprehensive Survey of Healthcare Professionals and Asthma Patients Offering Insight on Current Treatment Gaps and Emerging Device Options) survey were published in the March 2012 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Results demonstrate the current extent of poor asthma control in the US, and shows the country has fallen far short of national asthma management targets.

Among the most shocking results:

  • 79% of patients had persistent asthma and should have been on controllers.
  • Of the 51% on controllers, 86% were inadequately treated i.e., their asthma was not well or very poorly controlled.

Patients with severe persistent and uncontrolled asthma frequently reported feeling isolated, fearful, depressed and tired.

Uncontrolled asthma is severely affecting patients’ quality of life and increases the risk of emergency department visits and hospitalizations,” said co-author and SRxA Advisor Michael Blaiss, MD. “Asthma sufferers need to schedule regular office visits, talk with their allergists about preventative controller therapy and then use those medications regularly.”

Research shows that asthma patients under the care of an allergist have better outcomes at less cost because of fewer emergency care visits, fewer hospitalizations, reduced lengths of hospital stays, fewer days missed from work or school, increased productivity in their work and personal lives, greater satisfaction with their care and an improved quality of life.

So if you have asthma, suspect you have asthma or know someone with asthma, please get it treated. Most asthma deaths are largely preventable. Together we can help to change the awful results seen in this study.