Degree of control of physiciandiagnosed asthma and COPD in Italy
AbstractBackground. It is important for the Italian National Health Service to obtain data on the degree of control of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the general population in Italy in order for balanced planning of future investments in these diseases to be made. Currently, precise estimates of these parameters are not available in literature. Objectives. In collaboration with the Italian Academy of General Practitioners (SIMG; www.simg.it) we have investigated the degree of control of physician-diagnosed asthma and COPD in Italy. Methods. A standardised questionnaire on asthma and COPD has been self-administered to a sample of 1937 Italian family physicians (representing around 5% of all the Italian doctors involved in general practice) chosen to cover all the Italian counties. Results. We have collected questionnaire data from 19,917 patients with asthma and COPD followed in their practice and 12,438 (62.4%) were correctly filled in enabling evaluation. We selected the number of emergency room visits, hospitalisations and intensive care unit admissions for asthma and COPD in the last 12 months as objective measures of the degree of asthma and COPD morbidity in these patients. The figures were respectively 12.4% (emergency room visits), 17.3% (hospitalisations) and 1.2% (intensive care unit admissions) of all patients with physician-diagnosed asthma and COPD. Conclusions. This data suggests that in Italy the morbidity of asthma and COPD remains high; representing a significant burden for the Italian National Health Service. There is a clear necessity for further studies to investigate the causes of this incomplete control.
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