A quarter of all severe asthma attacks may be prevented if patients stuck to their medication regime as prescribed, according to a US study.
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that the risk of a severe asthma attack was only significantly reduced when patients used at least 75% of their prescribed medication dose.
They looked at 298 patients over two years and found a 25% increase in medication adherence was associated with a 11% decrease in severe asthma attacks.
The researchers said it was especially important for patients with uncontrolled asthma to stick to their medication regime to best reduce the chance of a severe asthma attack.
Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, they said: “Patients must use their asthma controller medication as prescribed if they want to have the best chance of preventing serious asthma attacks.”
- Williams et al. Quantifying the proportion of severe asthma exacerbations attributable to inhaled corticosteroid nonadherence; Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011; Advance online publication.