(HealthDay News) – Many patients with asthma who do not use controller medications have persistent disease, and among those patients who do use controller medications, few have well-controlled disease, according to a study published in the March issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

To investigate disease control among patients with asthma, Gene L. Colice, MD, from Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, and colleagues surveyed 1,000 patients with asthma about their use of inhalation devices and asthma-related burden, medication use, and hospital/emergency care, using the Comprehensive Survey of Healthcare Professionals and Asthma Patients Offering Insight on Current Treatment Gaps and Emerging Device Options (CHOICE).

The researchers found that 490 of the patients were not using controller medications. Of those not using controllers, 79% had persistent asthma and 47% had mild or moderate persistent asthma. Of the 510 using controllers, 14.3% had their disease well controlled. Patients with persistent asthma or not-well-controlled/poorly-controlled asthma had greater acute care utilization than those with intermittent or well-controlled asthma.

“These findings confirm that asthma management falls short of national asthma-management targets,” the authors write. “As the definitions of asthma severity and asthma control evolve, it is clear from the results of the CHOICE survey that many patients with untreated asthma might benefit from long-term controllers, and many asthma patients on long-term controllers are not adequately managed.”

Several study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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