Longitudinal outcomes of different asthma phenotypes in primary care, an observational study
SourceNpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 27, 1, (2017), pp. 55, article 55
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
While asthma presentation is heterogeneous, current asthma management guidelines in primary care are quite homogeneous. In this study we aim to cluster patients together into different phenotypes, that may aid the general practitioner in individualised asthma management. We analysed data from the ACCURATE trial, containing 611 adult asthmatics, 18-50 year-old, treated in primary care, with one year follow-up. Variables obtained at baseline (n = 14), were assessed by cluster analysis. Subsequently, established phenotypes were assessed separately on important asthma outcomes after one year follow-up: asthma control (Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ)), quality of life (Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ)), exacerbation-rate and medication-usage. Five distinct phenotypes were identified. The first phenotype was predominantly defined by their early onset atopic form of asthma. The second phenotype mainly consisted of female patients with a late onset asthma. The third phenotype were patients with high reversibility rates after bronchodilator usage. The fourth phenotype were smokers and the final phenotype were frequent exacerbators. The exacerbators phenotype had the worst outcomes for asthma control and quality of life and experienced the highest exacerbation-rate, despite using the most medication. The early onset phenotype patients were relatively well controlled and their medication dosage was low. ASTHMA: INDIVIDUALIZING TREATMENT BY PHENOTYPE: Asthma patients should be characterised according to their individual asthma type to ensure more targeted treatment. Even though asthma manifests itself in a wide variety of forms with differing degrees of severity, treatment of the disease often takes a broad, one-size-fits-all approach. To determine if asthma can indeed be split into distinct phenotypes, Rishi Khusial at the Leiden University Medical Center and co-workers across the Netherlands analysed data from 611 adult asthmatics treated in primary care, and followed them up after one year. The team identified five phenotypes in the primary care cohort, including one group with early onset asthma, another whose asthma responded well to bronchodilators, and a group classed as frequent exacerbators. Further analysis of long-term asthma outcomes showed clear differences between phenotypes, particularly in terms of asthma control and quality of life.
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