A New Index of Prognostic Severity for Chronic Asthma
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OBJECTIVE: To develop a prognostic clinical index for adults with chronic stable asthma. DESIGN: Analysis of data from a 48-week randomized, crossover trial of regular vs as-needed inhaled beta-agonist therapy. PATIENTS: Eligible patients included 70 men and women between the ages of 15 and 64 years with asthma for > 1 year. OUTCOME MEASURE: Asthma deterioration within 20 weeks, defined as either a marked decline in FEV1 (> or = 1.0 L or > or = 30% from baseline) or initiation of systemic corticosteroid therapy for asthma exacerbation. RESULTS: Three baseline factors independently predicted asthma deterioration: frequent symptoms on waking in the 4 weeks before baseline, past hospitalization for asthma, and age 35 years or older. Based on cross-stratification and consolidation of these prognostic factors, an index was developed that stratified subjects into four risk groups with distinctive deterioration rates of 9%, 21%, 39%, and 67% (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: For adults with chronic stable asthma, three simple clinical factors can be combined to stratify effectively for risk of subsequent asthma deterioration.
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