The Particulars: Physicians often rely on asthma patients to help them make accurate assessments of disease severity and to individualize treatment. However, little is known about patient self-perceptions of asthma severity, impairment, and risk.

Data Breakdown: A national survey of adults with asthma found that the majority of those who identified themselves as having moderate asthma also reported several impairments and risks that were potentially indicative of more severe asthma. Specifically, 78% reported at least one emergency room or urgent care visit in the past year and 62% reported two or more asthma attacks requiring oral systemic corticosteroids. Nearly 60% reported missing work or school and 17% used their quick-relief inhalers at least once daily.

Take Home Pearls: Many patients who identify themselves as having moderate asthma report having indicators of more severe disease and fail to recognize their condition as being severe. Greater patient education may be necessary.