Use of controller therapy before hospital admission for asthma

Published Online: July 21, 2016

In France, hospital admissions due to asthma remain frequent, with almost 50,000 admissions per year. In the original research published by Belhassen and colleagues in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: in Practice, the authors investigated national claims data to identify the patterns of use of asthma controller therapy in the 12 months before admission.

The authors utilized the 1% sample of the French national claims data, to conduct a cohort study of patients hospitalized for asthma between 2007 and 2014. Subjects were categorized by an unsupervised classification algorithm that classified patients based on controller therapy recorded.

Of 17,846 asthma patients followed, 275 patients (1.5%) were identified with an asthma-related hospitalization. Three distinct clusters were identified. The first cluster (61.2%) included patients with few dispensations of any controller medication. The second cluster (34.7%) consisted of patients with frequent dispensations of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs)/inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in fixed-dose combinations. The third cluster (4.1%) comprised patients receiving free combinations of ICS and LABAs, with more dispensations of LABAs than ICS.

The findings suggest that before an asthma-related hospitalization, >60% of patients received little controller therapy while 4% were exposed to higher dispensation of LABAs than of ICS.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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