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The socio-economic burden of asthma is substantial in Europe
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2008 (English)In: Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ISSN 0105-4538, Vol. 63, no 1, 116-124 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Few data are available on the asthma burden in the general population. We evaluated the level and the factors associated with the asthma burden in Europe. METHODS: In 1999-2002, 1152 adult asthmatics were identified in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS)-II and the socio-economic burden (reduced activity days and hospital services utilization in the past 12 months) was assessed. RESULTS: The asthmatics with a light burden (only a few reduced activity days) were 13.2% (95% CI: 11.4-15.3%), whereas those with a heavy burden (many reduced activity days and/or hospital services utilization) were 14.0% (95% CI: 12.1-16.1%). The burden was strongly associated with disease severity and a lower quality of life. Obese asthmatics had a significantly increased risk of a light [relative risk ratio (RRR) = 2.17; 95% CI: 1.18-4.00] or a heavy burden (RRR = 2.77; 95% CI: 1.52-5.05) compared with normal/underweight subjects. The asthmatics with frequent respiratory symptoms showed a threefold (RRR = 2.74; 95% CI: 1.63-4.61) and sixfold (RRR = 5.76; 95% CI: 3.25-10.20) increased risk of a light or a heavy burden compared with asymptomatic asthmatics, respectively. Moreover, the lower the forced expiratory volume in 1 s % predicted, the higher the risk of a heavy burden. The coexistence with chronic cough/phlegm only increased the risk of a heavy burden (RRR = 1.88; 95% CI: 1.16-3.06). An interaction was found between gender and IgE sensitization, with nonatopic asthmatic females showing the highest risk of a heavy burden (21.6%; 95% CI: 16.9-27.1%). CONCLUSIONS: The asthma burden is substantial in Europe. A heavy burden is more common in asthmatics with obesity, frequent respiratory symptoms, low lung function, chronic cough/phlegm and in nonatopic females.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 63, no 1, 116-124 p.
Keyword [en]
asthma epidemiology, burden of asthma, burden, determinants, general population
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-16792DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2007.01523.xISI: 000251327700014PubMedID: 18053021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-16792DiVA: diva2:44563
Available from: 2008-06-04 Created: 2008-06-04 Last updated: 2010-01-28Bibliographically approved

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