Almost half of Australian adults with asthma have poor symptom control, and nearly a third had required urgent medical treatment for their condition in the past year, the first nationally representative study of asthma in adults reveals.
Published in the MJA the online survey of more than 2686 adult asthma patients showed the disease was well controlled in 54% of patients, not well controlled in 23% and very poorly controlled in the remaining 23%.
Adherence to inhaled maintenance therapy was also poor, with 43% of patients who require preventer medication using it fewer than five days a week and 31% using it less than weekly.
The data also indicated that in contrast with guidelines, many patients had been prescribed combination ICS/LABA inhalers than had been prescribed ICS alone.
Taken together, these findings indicate that a significant proportion of asthma morbidity and its associated costs in Australia are preventable,” said the authors led by Associate Professor Helen Reddel from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.
The findings also challenge the perception that asthma was a ‘solved’ problem in Australia, a view that may contribute to lack of attention to asthma in clinical practice, they said.