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Survey Shows Asthma Not Controlled in Severe Asthma Patients

d with significant costs. In 2003, reports show that asthma caused about 24.5 million missed days of work, 12.7 million physician office visits and 1.2 million outpatient visits.

The REACT study found that the proportion of patients reporting two or more emergency department visits, hospitalization or three or more missed days of work/school because of asthma in the past year was more than three times greater in patients with uncontrolled asthma than in patients with controlled asthma.

There were several factors associated with uncontrolled asthma, including younger age, Hispanic race, male, and lower income. A significant number of participants with uncontrolled asthma also had gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), chronic sinusitis, or high blood pressure, which may contribute to the severity of their asthma.

Also likely contributing to poorly controlled asthma was the fact that only a minority of patients reported having received a personalized asthma action plan from their physician (26 percent of controlled asthmatics and 35 percent of uncontrolled asthmatics). Written asthma action plans have been associated with decreased emergency department visits, fewer hospitalizations and improved lung function.

The authors said several steps are needed to improve levels of asthma control, including providing patients with individual treatment plans, treating other medical problems such as GERD and using better tests to assess control, such as the ACT questionnaire used in the survey


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