Majority of Asthma Patients Remain Uncontrolled

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asthma Data Presented at ACAAI Show Patients with Uncontrolled Asthma Cope with Disease Impact on Daily Life

PHILADELPHIA /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of more than 1,300 asthma patients found that the majority of respondents (61 percent) had uncontrolled asthma based on their Asthma Control Test (ACT) score, and nearly one-third (29 percent) of those were not aware that their asthma was uncontrolled. Uncontrolled asthma may place patients at risk for increased symptoms, sudden attacks, hospitalization and even death from asthma.

The survey used the ACT, a clinically validated, patient-administered asthma assessment tool, to evaluate respondents' level of asthma control. The ACT is a five-item questionnaire which gives physicians and patients a simple yet predictive tool they can use to help assess asthma control. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

"This survey reinforces that too many patients don't have their asthma under control and need to communicate with their doctor more clearly about how their asthma is affecting them," said Dr. Michael LeNoir, leading allergist and Vice-Speaker, House of Delegates, National Medical Association and Chairperson of the Asthma and Allergy Initiative. "I find the ACT provides a good starting point for a valuable dialogue with my patients about their asthma symptoms -- which helps ensure that my patients are on an effective asthma treatment plan."

Answers to the ACT provide asthma patients a score that may help them and their doctor determine if their current treatment plan is working. The five questions included in the ACT are based on measures of asthma control established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma recommend the development of an individualized treatment plan for asthma patients aimed at minimizing symptoms, reducing use of quick-relief medicine (e.g. short- acting beta-agonists like albuterol), reducing limitations at work and in other physical activity, preventing the occurrence of acute attacks and preventing the need for emergency treatment and hospitalization.

This survey revealed that the majority of asthma patients are not meeting NIH goals, and that more than half (61 percent) are not well controlled on current therapies.

The survey also explored the impact having asthma has on people's lives, revealing that uncontrolled asthma patients are more likely to note a disruption in their daily lives due to breathing problems. Eighty percent of patients whose asthma was uncontrolled reported that their asthma holds them back from doing all they want to do. Uncontrolled asthma patients are also less satisfied with life in general, worrying more about their condition and wishing there was something more they could do to treat it. The results showed that only 52 percent of uncontrolled asthma patients are very satisfied with their life (compared to 81 percent for controlled patients), 76 percent worry about not being able to breathe and 83 percent wish there was more they could do to treat their asthma.

The Asthma Control Test

The ACT is a validated, convenient, and easy-to-use patient-based tool that helps provide a reliable assessment of a patient's asthma control. Answers to the ACT provide asthma patients a score that may help them and their doctor determine if their current treatment plan is working. The total ACT score is based on a range of 5 to 25. A score of 19 or less may be an indication that asthma symptoms are not under control. If a patient scores 19 or less, they should make an appointment with their doctor to discuss their ACT results and ensure they are properly controlling asthma symptoms. After taking the ACT, all patients should discuss asthma control and the goals of asthma therapy with their doctor to be certain that their individual goals of therapy are established and achieved.

The ACT is available in English and Spanish by visiting online at www.asthmacontrol.com

About the Survey

A total of 1,306 questionnaires were completed over the internet using a verified online panel. Panelists were sent e-mail invitations requesting they complete the survey and respondents were considered qualified to participate in the survey if they had already been diagnosed with asthma, were 25-54 years of age, and currently on a prescription medication for asthma. The survey was conducted by GlaxoSmithKline and The Harrison Group.

source - GSK