Most Asthma Hospitalizations Due to Poor Medication Adherence
Asthma Symptoms and Treatment
The majority of hospitalizations for asthma may be the result of people not taking their inhaled medications as directed, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.
Researchers found that patients, who on average missed one out of four doses of their prescribed inhaled steroid medications, doubled their risk of being hospitalized. They estimate that 60 percent of hospitalizations could have been prevented had the patients in this study taken their medication as directed.
The study also found that patients took their inhaled steroid medication only 50 percent of the time. Poor medication adherence was also associated with emergency department visits and the need to use oral steroid medications as directed.
The study is published in the December issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It is believed to be the first study of its kind in the United States to examine the relationship between the adherence to inhaled steroids and hospitalizations for asthma.
Inhaled steroids are considered the most effective drug therapy for treating asthma. They have been shown to significantly improve asthma symptoms and reduce asthma complications.
Keoki Williams, M.D., a Henry Ford epidemiologist and the study's lead author, says the findings show that lapses in medication use are a "predictor of asthma-related complications."
"People with asthma should be taking their inhaled corticosteroids on a daily basis to prevent an attack, not just when they feel symptoms coming on," Dr. Williams says, adding that increased education on the importance of adherence could lead to better asthma control.
Inhaled steroids have become the standard in the treatment of persistent asthma. They have been shown to significantly improve asthma symptoms and reduce asthma complications. However, adherence to the prescribed inhaled steroids is poor among adult asthma patients.
Henry Ford Hospitals - http://www.henryfordhealth.org