International trends in admissions and drug sales for asthma
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: To test whether national patterns of asthma drug use, particularly inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), are related to the rate of acute severe asthma exacerbations.
DESIGN: The relation of international trends in hospital admissions for asthma with asthma drug sales was examined using country-specific regressions over the period 1990–1999. Pooled estimates of the regression coefficients were calculated using random effects models.
RESULTS: Data on asthma admissions and asthma drug sales (including the sub-category ICS) were obtained from 11 countries. There was a negative relationship between falling admissions and rising sales of respiratory drugs and ICS in 9 of these 11 countries. A pooled estimate of the change in asthma admission rate per 10000 associated with a unit increase in sales rate was −6.3 (95%CI −10.4–−2.3) for all asthma drugs and −11.2 (95%CI −19.7–−2.8) for ICS.
CONCLUSION: At the national level, there is good evidence that over the last decade, increased sales of asthma drugs, and ICS in particular, were associated with a decline in rates of hospital admission for asthma. This is consistent with a beneficial effect of increasing use of asthma drugs, but other explanations such as decreasing prevalence could also be responsible.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: February 1, 2006
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