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Poor disease control among insured users of high-dose combination therapy for asthma

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Adherence to asthma treatment may not completely prevent exacerbations. Clinical trial results indicate that many highly adherent asthma patients still have symptoms. Little is known about the level of control achieved by adherent patients outside clinical trials. This study was designed to evaluate the extent of asthma control among insured patients who were highly adherent to combination controller therapy. We used an administrative claims database for this cohort study of patients aged 12‐64 years. Patients were newly treated with fluticasone, 500 micrograms/salmeterol, 50 micrograms, between January 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004. Patients were stratified according to adherence levels: low (<50%), moderate (50‐74%), and high (≥75%). We compared rates of poor control. A logistic regression model was used to control for baseline differences. Among 3357 patients, the mean age was 40.5 ± 13.6 years, and 64.1% were women. Sixty-one percent had low adherence, 20% had moderate adherence, and 19% had high adherence. Highly adherent patients were older, and more used fluticasone, 250 micrograms/salmeterol, 50 micrograms, during the preindex period than the other groups. Even after starting high-dose fluticasone/salmeterol, many patients with low, moderate, and high adherence had indicators of poor symptom control (28.9% [587/2030], 30.6% [209/682], and 30.7% [198/645], respectively). Patients who were highly adherent and used additional controller medications had rates of poor control that ranged from 23.1 to 31.2%. After adjusting for age, gender, and baseline characteristics, results were similar. Many patients continue to have poor asthma control despite being adherent to high-dose combination therapy or using additional controller medications.

Keywords: Adherence; adherence levels; administrative claims; compliance; control; controller medications; fluticasone/salmeterol; high-dose combination therapy; moderate-to-severe persistent asthma; outcomes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Partnership for Health Analytic Research, 280 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 404, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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