Control of persistent asthma in Spain: associated factors

Javíer de Miguel Díez, Carlos Barcina, Mercedes Muñoz, Manuel Leal
Journal of Asthma 2008, 45 (9): 740-6

INTRODUCTION: The main objective of asthma treatment is tailored control for each patient. However, despite the excellent therapeutic arsenal currently available, many patients remain unable to achieve adequate control of this disease.

OBJECTIVE: The main objective this study was to evaluate the degree of control and the determinants of asthma in patients with persistent asthma in Spain in usual clinical practice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional epidemiological study. The patients enrolled were 18 years of age or over, with a 6-month history of diagnosed persistent asthma, who were followed up by primary care physicians in Spain between the months of June and December 2006. Demographic and socioeconomic data were collected, as were anthropometric data and different clinical variables. The control of asthma was evaluated using the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ).

RESULTS: The study included 6,824 patients, of whom 306 were excluded; therefore the final number of patients analyzed was 6,518 (95.5%). According to severity, 41.4% of patients had mild persistent asthma, 51.2% had moderate persistent asthma, and the remainder severe persistent asthma. The mean score in the ACQ was 1.4 +/- 1.0, distributed as follows: in 28.4% of cases, the score was below 0.75; in 31.6%, it was between 0.75 and 1.5; and in 39.7% it was above 1.5. Multiple regression analysis showed that the factor that most affected the degree of control of the disease was classification by severity. Other associated factors were sex, race, body mass index, smoking, level of education, habitual activity, years since diagnosis of asthma, number of exacerbations and admissions to hospital during the last year, and basic treatment of the disease.

CONCLUSIONS: The number of patients with poorly controlled persistent asthma in Spain is high (71.6%). There are demographic, socioeconomic, anthropometric, and clinical variables that affect the level of control of this disease.

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