Most Asthma Out of Control
Despite Treatment, 55% of Sufferers Flunk Asthma Control Test
June 1, 2007 -- Despite treatment and access to health care, more than half
of asthma patients can't keep their illness under control.
The finding comes from an Internet survey of 1,812 people with
moderate-to-severe asthma. Each patient filled out a five-item questionnaire
that assessed the degree to which their asthma disrupted their lives over the
past four weeks.
More than half of the respondents -- 55% -- said that in the last month:
- Their asthma kept them from getting as much done as they wanted at least
some of the time.
- They had shortness of breath at least 3 to 6 times a week.
- Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or chest pain
disrupted their sleep once a week or more.
- They used their rescue inhaler at 2 or more times a week.
- They rated their asthma control as no better than "somewhat
"Even more shocking was the finding that 38% of controlled asthmatics
and 54% of uncontrolled asthmatics reported having had an asthma attack during
which they feared for their lives," Stephen P. Peters, MD, PhD, of Wake
Forest University School of Medicine, says in a news release.
Peters and colleagues report the findings in the June issue of the
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Peters warns that doctors -- primary care physicians as well as pulmonary
specialists -- must be aware that many of their patients aren't succeeding in
keeping their asthma under control.
And patients, he says, should sit down with their doctors to make -- and
update -- personalized asthma control plans.