Impact of Treatable Traits on Asthma Control and Quality of Life

Steffi M. J. Janssen*, Hanneke A. C. van Helvoort, Tjitske A. Tjalma, Jeanine C. Antons, Remco S. Djamin, Sami O. Simons, Martijn A. Spruit, Alex J. vant Hul

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Many adult patients with asthma have uncontrolled disease and impaired quality of life, despite current asthma-specific drug therapies. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of 9 traits in patients with asthma, their associations with disease control and quality of life, and referral rates to nonmedical health care professionals. Methods: Retrospectively, data from patients with asthma were collected in 2 Dutch hospitals (Amphia Breda and RadboudUMC Nijmegen). Adult patients without exacerbation <3 months who were referred for a first-ever elective, outpatient, hospital-based diagnostic pathway were deemed eligible. Nine traits were assessed: dyspnea, fatigue, depression, overweight, exercise intolerance, physical inactivity, smoking, hyperventilation, and frequent exacerbations. To assess the likelihood of having poor disease control or decreased quality of life, the odds ratio (OR) was calculated per trait. Referral rates were assessed by checking patients’ files. Results: A total of 444 adults with asthma were studied (57% women, age: 48 ± 16 years, forced expiratory volume in 1 second: 88% ± 17% predicted). Most patients (53%) were found to have uncontrolled asthma (Asthma Control Questionnaire ≥1.5 points) and decreased quality of life (Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire <6 points). Generally, patients had 3.0 ± 1.8 traits. Severe fatigue was most prevalent (60%) and significantly increased the likelihood of having uncontrolled asthma (OR: 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9-4.7) and decreased quality of life (OR: 4.6, 95% CI: 2.7-7.9). Referrals to nonmedical health care professionals were low; most referrals were to a respiratory-specialized nurse (33%). Conclusion: Adult patients with asthma with a first-ever referral to a pulmonologist frequently exhibit traits justifying the deployment of nonpharmacological interventions, especially in those with uncontrolled asthma. However, referrals to appropriate interventions appeared infrequent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1823-1833.e4
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number6
Early online date1 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • Asthma
  • Asthma control
  • Quality of life
  • Treatable traits
  • Nonpharmacological


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