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Clinical Characteristics and Economic Burden of Asthma in China: A Multicenter Retrospective Study.

Asthma is a common chronic airway inflammation that produces a healthcare burden on the economy. We aim to obtain a better understanding of the clinical status and disease burden of patients with asthma in China. A retrospective study was carried out based on the computerized medical records in the Jinan Health Medical Big Data Platform between 2011 and 2019 (available data from 38 hospitals). The asthma severity of each patient was assessed retrospectively and categorized as mild, moderate, or severe according to Global Initiative for Asthma 2020 (GINA 2020). The results revealed that the majority (75.0%) of patients suffered from mild asthma. Patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)/long-acting beta-agonists (LABA) at emergency department visits had lower frequencies of exacerbations compared with non-ICS/LABA-treated patients. The incidence rates for 1, 2, 3, and 4 exacerbation of the patients treated with ICS/LABA are lower than those treated without ICS/LABA (14.49 vs. 15.01%, 11.94% vs. 19.12%, 6.51% vs.12.92% and 4.10% vs. 9.35%). The difference got a statistical significance Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), two comorbidities related to asthma, were risk factors for asthma exacerbation. Finally, patients who suffered from exacerbations produced a heavier economic burden compared to the patients who never suffered exacerbations (mean costs are ¥3,339.67 vs. ¥968.45 separately).  These results provide a reference for clinicians and patients to obtain a better treatment and therapy strategy management for people living with asthma.

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