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Treatment Effectiveness of Inhaled Corticosteroids and Leukotriene Modifiers for Patients with Asthma: An Analysis from Managed Care Data

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We compared measures of treatment effectiveness when inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) or leukotriene modifiers (LMs) were used as controller monotherapy for asthma. Asthma patients aged 6-55 years initiating ICS or LM monotherapy between July 1998 and June 1999 (index prescription) were identified using a managed care claims database. Asthma-related hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) visits, and use of short-acting -agonists and oral corticosteroids (OCSs) were assessed as proxies for treatment effectiveness. Propensity score was used to adjust for baseline differences between treatment cohorts. The change in the annual rate of claims from the preindex to postindex period for each measure was compared across treatment groups. Logistic regression models of the postindex composite events (hospitalization and/or ED) and OCS use were estimated. Nine hundred sixty patients were initiated on LMs (n = 153) and ICSs (n = 807). The mean annual rate of claims for OCSs increased in the ICS group (0.2) but was unchanged in the LM group (adjusted mean difference in change, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.05-0.4; p = 0.01). The mean annual rate of claims for short-acting -agonists increased in both the ICS and LM groups by 1.1 and 0.5, respectively (adjusted mean difference in change, 0.6; 95% CI, -0.06, 1.1; p = 0.08). Similar changes in annualized rates of claims for hospitalizations and ED visits were observed between treatment groups. In logistic regression models, greater odds of postindex OCS use was observed among the ICS group (odds ratio for ICS versus LM = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.04-2.8; p = 0.04). No association between treatment groups and postindex hospitalization and/or ED events was observed. In this managed care population, patients treated with ICSs or LMs had similar measures of treatment effectiveness, as measured by asthma-related health care resource use.
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Document Type: Original Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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