PURPOSE: Patients with asthma may have perceived levels of asthma control that are inconsistent with their actual levels of control. National telephone surveys were conducted in the AIM program to determine how asthma morbidity has evolved over the past 10 years by quantifying activity limitations and disease burden associated with asthma.
METHODS: Asthma patients were surveyed on health status, activity limitations, sick/disability days, and health-related emotional burden. 60,682 US households were screened; 2,186 adults (aged ≥18 y) with asthma were interviewed from 07/29/2009−09/10/2009. In a separate, cross-sectional survey, a random sample of the general US adult population (N=1,004) was interviewed from 08/14/2009−09/10/2009.
RESULTS: Twice as many adults with asthma rated their health as fair, poor, or very poor compared with nonasthmatic adults (26% vs 13%, respectively). Nearly three times as many asthma patients had activity limitations compared with nonasthmatic adults (14% vs 5%, respectively), and twice as many adults with asthma reported that asthma limits normal physical exertion compared with nonasthmatic adults who reported health-related limits on normal physical exertion (42% vs 21%, respectively). Asthma patients had more than twice as many disability days in the past year than did nonasthmatic adults (37.9 vs 15.8, respectively). All of the above comparisons were significant at the 0.05 level. Furthermore, approximately twice as many adults with asthma as nonasthmatic adults reported being fearful/embarrassed due to their health.
CONCLUSION: In spite of the availability of evidence-based treatment recommendations and effective medications, patients with asthma continue to have significant activity limitations as well as health-related physical and emotional challenges when compared with persons without asthma.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Asthma continues to be associated with significant morbidity and activity limitations, indicating that use of proven asthma management plans and improved patient adherence to prescribed asthma controller therapy is needed to reduce the national burden of asthma.
DISCLOSURE: Eli Meltzer, Grant monies (from industry related sources) Dr. Meltzer received research/grant support and served as a consultant and on speaker bureau for Schering-Plough.Dr. Murphy receives research support from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, and Schering-Plough, and received honoraria for consulting services from AstraZeneca, Dey, Merck, and Schering-Plough. This work was supported by Schering Corp., a Division of Merck & Co.Dr. Nathan has received grants and research support from Abbott, Alcon, AstraZeneca, Ception, Dey, Dyax, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, MAP, MedImmune, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Schering-Plough, and TEVA.; Consultant fee, speaker bureau, advisory committee, etc. Dr. Stoloff and Dr. Blaiss have served as consultants and receive research support from Merck Schering-Plough.Dr. Nathan has served as consultant or scientific advisor for Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Schering-Plough, and TEVA. Dr. Nathan has also participated in Speaker's Bureaus for AstraZeneca, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Schering-Plough and UCB.; No Product/Research Disclosure Information