Severe asthma treatment patterns: A multicenter observational study in the Gulf region

Mona Al-Ahmad*, Hassan Mobayed, Nasser Al Busaidi, Mohamed Nizam Iqbal, Saif Al Mubaihsi, Moussa Khadadah, Abeer Kassem, Mohamed Abuzakouk, Mateen Uzbeck, Ashraf Al Zaabi, Hisham Farouk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: While crucial to the assessment and improvement of asthma control, insights on treatment practices in patients with severe diseases across Gulf nations are lacking. This observational study describes the treatment patterns of adolescents and adults with severe asthma across four countries of the Gulf region and evaluates current levels of asthma control; quality of life (QoL); exacerbation frequency; and the application of cellular, protein, and respiratory biomarkers in assessing asthma severity and inflammation. Methods: Patients (aged >12 years, body weight ≥40 kg) with clinician-diagnosed, severe asthma (guided by the 2018 Global Initiative for Asthma definition) were included in this cross-sectional, multicenter, observational study conducted in the four Gulf countries of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Data on demographics, treatment patterns, and laboratory parameters (blood eosinophil count [BEC], levels of serum immunoglobulin E [IgE], and fractional exhaled nitric oxide [FeNO]) were extracted from the medical records of patients during a 12-month retrospective period and transcribed onto case report forms. At the Enrollment visit, patients assessed their asthma control and QoL with the self-administered Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) and a standardized version of the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ(S)), respectively. Results: Among the 243 patients analyzed, (mean [standard deviation (SD)] age, 48.4 [13.9] years; female, 67.5%), the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting β2 agonist (LABA) combination was the most prescribed asthma medication (n = 240; 98.8%). Most patients were classified as “uncontrolled,” (n = 173; 71.2%) and the majority (n = 206; 84.8%) experienced ≥1 exacerbation(s) in the preceding 12 months. The mean (SD) ACQ score was 2.1 (1.2), which indicated uncontrolled asthma, and the mean (SD) total AQLQ(S) score was 4.7 (1.4), suggesting “some limitation” in overall QoL. BECs during the 12-month period were elevated in most patients (>300 cells/μL [n = 183; 41.7%], 150–300 cells/μL [n = 138; 31.4%], <150 cells/μL [n = 118; 26.9%]), suggesting an eosinophilic asthma phenotype, although no standardized threshold by which to define eosinophilia has yet been confirmed. This study revealed that the biomarkers BEC, serum IgE, and FeNO concentrations were obtained inconsistently by the participating centers. Conclusions: Despite recommended ICS/LABA therapy being prescribed to most patients for their severe disease, the majority experienced uncontrolled asthma and exhibited elevated BECs. These findings indicate the need for enhanced treatment strategies to improve and sustain asthma control in the Gulf region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100647
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Asthma control
  • Biomarkers
  • Gulf
  • Quality of life
  • Severe asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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