WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. A survey of 1,812 patients with moderate-to-severe asthma revealed that the disease was not controlled in 55 percent, despite the fact that most had health insurance and visited their health care providers regularly.
"Even more shocking was the finding that 38 percent of controlled asthmatics and 54 percent of uncontrolled asthmatics reported having had an asthma attack during which they feared for their life," said Stephen P. Peters, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and a professor of pediatrics, internal medicine-pulmonary and associate director of the Center for Human Genomics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
The results from the survey, believed to be the first to assess the prevalence of uncontrolled asthma among a nationally representative sample of patients with moderate-to-severe asthma, are reported in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The Web-based survey was administered to patients with a diagnosis of asthma for at least one year who were prescribed standard therapy for preventing symptoms. Over the past 15 years, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program has emphasized daily preventive management as opposed to treating asthma attacks.
The objective of the Real-World Evaluation of Asthma Control and Treatment (REACT) study was to assess the prevalence of uncontrolled asthma and the factors associated with the lack of control. Participants answered questions about demographics and health care use and completed a five-item test (Asthma Control Test, or ACT) to assess asthma control.
"We found that uncontrolled asthma is highly prevalent in patients using standard asthma medications," said Peters. "Our results highlight the critical need for improved asthma care and suggest that clinicians should expect a high rate of uncontrolled disease among their asthma patients."