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Asthma control in Saudi Arabia: Gender implications

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Gender-related factors in asthma control should be considered in clinical consultations to substantially improve asthma control in women. Meanwhile, a limited number of studies have been reported on gender differences in factors related to asthma control, especially in Saudi Arabia.


To study the potential gender differences in factors associated with asthma control among adult patients with physician-diagnosed asthma.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in adult patients with asthma who attended primary care clinics at three major hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Asthma control was measured by using the Asthma Control Test. Asthma control status was classified as either controlled (Asthma Control Test score of >19) or uncontrolled (Asthma Control Test score of ≤19). Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed.


In this study, 58.9% of men and 77.0% of women had uncontrolled asthma (p = 0.002). Factors associated with uncontrolled asthma were different between men and women, except for household income. Reporting higher levels of stress (odds ratio [OR] 4.3 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.7‐11.1]), daily tobacco smoking (OR 5.8 [95% CI, 1.5‐23.5]), and a monthly household income of <15,000 Saudi Arabian Riyals (OR 4.5 [95% CI, 1.9‐10.5]) were associated with uncontrolled asthma in men. Being unemployed (OR 3.4 [95% CI, 1.3‐9.4]), being obese (OR 3.2 [95% CI, 1.1‐9.2]), or having a monthly household income of <15,000 Saudi Arabian Riyals (OR 3.1 [95% CI, 1.2‐8.0]) were associated with uncontrolled asthma in women.


This study demonstrated that many factors, such as stress, occupation, and obesity, had a differential relationship with uncontrolled asthma among men and women in Saudi Arabia that could provide more insight into methods of improving asthma control, especially in women.
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Keywords: Asthma control; Riaydh; Saudi Arabia; cross-sectional; gender; income; obesity; occupation; stress; tobacco smoking

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-05-01

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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