Asthma management and asthma control in São Paulo, Brazil and Uppsala, Sweden: a questionnaire-based comparison

Paul Skorup, Luiz Vicente Rizzo, Lavinia Machado-Boman, Christer Janson
Clinical Respiratory Journal 2009, 3 (1): 22-8

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The Global Initiative Against Asthma (GINA) was developed to meet the global challenge of asthma. GINA has been adopted in most countries and comparison of asthma management in different parts of the world may be of help when assessing the global dissemination of the guideline. The overall goals in GINA include that asthma patients should be free of symptoms, acute asthma attacks and activity limitations. The aim of the present study was to compare asthma management and asthma control in São Paulo, Brazil and Uppsala, Sweden.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Information was collected from asthmatics in São Paulo and Uppsala with a questionnaire. The questionnaire dealt with the following issues: symptoms, smoking, self-management, hospital visits, effect on school/work and medication.

RESULTS: The São Paulo patients were more likely to have uncontrolled asthma (36% vs 13%, P < 0.001), having made emergency room visits (57% vs 29%, P < 0.001) and having lost days at school or work because of their asthma (46% vs 28%, P = 0.03) than the asthmatics from Uppsala. There were no difference in the use of inhaled corticosteroids, but the Brazilian patients were more likely to be using theophylline (18% vs 1%, P = 0.001) and less likely to be using long-acting beta-2 agonists (18% vs 37%, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: We conclude that the level of asthma control was lower among the patients from São Paulo than Uppsala. Few of the patients in either city reached the goals set up by GINA. Improved asthma management may therefore lead to health-economic benefits in both locations.

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