Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences & UBC Division of Respiratory Medicine
Respiratory Evaluation Sciences Program

Modifiable factors associated with inappropriate use of asthma relievers



Abstract: Identifying factors associated with inappropriate or excessive use of short-acting beta agonists (SABA) in asthma can help efforts towards safer use of such medications. We used British Columbian (BC)’s administrative health data to create a retrospective cohort of adolescents and adults with asthma. The primary outcome was inappropriate or excessive use of SABA. 343,520 individuals (56% female mean age 30.5) were included. The prevalence of inappropriate and excessive SABA use was 7.2% and 0.9%, respectively. Several potentially modifiable factors were associated with higher likelihood of inappropriate use, including lower socio-economic status, lower continuity of care, not receiving pulmonary function test, visit to general practitioner (as opposed to specialist), and low use of controller medications (all defined in the previous year). Despite proven safety issues, inappropriate SABA use is still prevalent. Several factors belonging to patients’ characteristics and type/quality of care were associated with inappropriate use of SABAs.

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