Effectiveness of early budesonide intervention in Caucasian versus Asian patients with asthma: 3‐year results of the START study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objective and background:  Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of inhaled corticosteroid therapy exclusively in Asian patients with asthma. The present analysis compared the efficacy of early intervention with inhaled budesonide in Caucasian and Asian patients over the first 3 years of the inhaled Steroid Treatment As Regular Therapy in early asthma study.Methods:  Patients aged 5–66 years with mild persistent asthma of ≤2 years’ duration were randomized to 3 years of double‐blind treatment with once‐daily budesonide 200 µg (for patients aged <11 years) or 400 µg administered via Turbuhaler or placebo, plus usual asthma therapy.Results:  Budesonide significantly improved asthma outcomes in both Caucasian (n = 4661) and Asian (n = 1995) patients compared with reference therapy (placebo plus usual asthma therapy). Budesonide reduced the risk of a first severe asthma‐related event by 42% and 49% in Caucasian and Asian patients, respectively, over the 3‐year treatment period (P < 0.001 for both). Moreover, budesonide significantly increased symptom‐free days, decreased nights with sleeping problems, improved pre‐ and postbronchodilator FEV1 and reduced the need for additional asthma medications of particular drug classes compared with reference therapy. Except for differences in the patterns of use of additional asthma medications, outcomes with budesonide and overall adverse events were similar in the Caucasian and Asian patient populations.Conclusion:  Inhaled budesonide administered once daily in Asian patients with recent‐onset, mild persistent asthma significantly improved asthma control and pulmonary function compared with reference therapy. Moreover, this effectiveness paralleled that observed in Caucasian patients.


  • O'Byrne, Paul
  • TAN, Wan C
  • LAMM, Carl J
  • CHEN, Yu‐Zhi
  • O’BYRNE, Paul M
  • PEDERSEN, Søren
  • BUSSE, William W
  • OHLSSON, Stefan V
  • ULLMAN, Anders
  • ANDERSSON, Bertil
  • PAUWELS, Romain A

publication date

  • November 2006

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