Published: 5 May 2022

Authors: Eric D. Bateman, David B. Price, Hao-Chien Wang, Adel Khattab, Patricia Schonffeldt, Angelina Catanzariti, Ralf J.P. van der Valk, Maarten J.H.I. Beekman

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 200


    Background To gain a global perspective on short-acting β2-agonist (SABA) prescriptions and associated asthma-related clinical outcomes in patients with asthma, we assessed primary health data across 24 countries in five continents.

    Methods SABINA III was a cross-sectional study that employed electronic case report forms at a study visit (in primary or specialist care) to record prescribed medication(s), over-the-counter (OTC) SABA purchases and clinical outcomes in asthma patients (≥12 years old) during the past 12 months. In patients with ≥1 SABA prescriptions, associations of SABA with asthma symptom control and severe exacerbations were analysed using multivariable regression models.

    Results Of 8351 patients recruited (n=6872, specialists; n=1440, primary care), 76.5% had moderate-to-severe asthma and 45.4% experienced ≥1 severe exacerbations in the past 12 months. 38% of patients were prescribed ≥3 SABA canisters; 18.0% purchased OTC SABA, of whom 76.8% also received SABA prescriptions. Prescriptions of 3–5, 6–9, 10–12 and ≥13 SABA canisters (versus 1–2) were associated with increasingly lower odds of controlled or partly controlled asthma (adjusted OR 0.64 (95% CI 0.53–0.78), 0.49 (95% CI 0.39–0.61), 0.42 (95% CI 0.34–0.51) and 0.33 (95% CI 0.25–0.45), respectively; n=4597) and higher severe exacerbation rates (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.40 (95% CI 1.24–1.58), 1.52 (95% CI 1.33–1.74), 1.78 (95% CI 1.57–2.02) and 1.92 (95% CI 1.61–2.29), respectively; n=4612).

    Conclusions This study indicates an association between high SABA prescriptions and poor clinical outcomes across a broad range of countries, healthcare settings and asthma severities, providing support for initiatives to improve asthma morbidity by reducing SABA overreliance.

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