Characterisation of the Australian Adult Population Living with Asthma: Severe - Exacerbation Frequency, Long-Term OCS Use and Adverse Effects

OPCA Improving Asthma outcomes in Australia Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Introduction: Asthma poses a significant burden for the Australian population. Understanding severe exacerbation rates, and steroid-related burden for adults diagnosed with asthma stands to offer insights into how this could be reduced.

Methods: Electronic medical records (EMR) and questionnaires from the Optimum Patient Care Research Database Australia (OPCRDA) were utilised retrospectively. OPCRDA is a real-world database with >800,000 medical records from Australian primary care practices. Outcomes were severe asthma exacerbations in Australian adults, over a 12-month period, stratified by Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) treatment intensity steps, and steroid associated comorbidities.

Results: Of the 7868 adults treated for asthma, 19% experienced at least one severe exacerbation in the last 12-months. Severe exacerbation frequency increased with treatment intensity (≥1 severe exacerbation GINA 1 13%; GINA 4 23%; GINA 5a 33% and GINA 5b 28%). Questionnaire participants reported higher rates of severe exacerbations than suggested from their EMR (32% vs 23%) especially in steps 1, 4 and 5. Patients repeatedly exposed to steroids had an increased risk of osteoporosis (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.43-2.66) and sleep apnoea (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.30-2.46).

Conclusion: The Australian population living with GINA 1, 4, 5a and 5b asthma have high severe exacerbation rates and steroid-related burden, especially when compared to other first world countries, with these patients needing alternative strategies or possibly specialist assessment to better manage their condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pragmatic and Observational Research
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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