The 12-week, multicentre, observational INITIAL study (NCT02143739) assessed asthma severity in newly diagnosed Chinese patients.
Post hoc analysis of medication combinations prescribed per routine clinical practice at baseline, and the impact on control levels evaluated using 2012 vs 2018 Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) criteria.
In total, 4491 patients were included in the analysis. At baseline, intermittent, mild, moderate and severe asthma was reported in 3.9, 12.0, 22.6 and 61.6% of patients, respectively. Most patients (90.2%) were prescribed inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting β agonist (ICS/LABA). ICS/LABA plus ≥1 additional medication(s) was prescribed to 66.7% of patients, with leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA, 54.7%) being the most common additional medication. Distribution of ICS/LABA vs ICS/LABA+LTRA was comparable in patients with intermittent (3.2% vs 3.0%), mild (11.5% vs 9.7%), moderate (21.2% vs 19.9%) and severe asthma (64.1% vs 67.4%). Control levels among patients using ICS/LABA+LTRA vs ICS/LABA were comparable using GINA 2012 and lower using GINA 2018 criteria. The proportion of patients using ICS/LABA+LTRA vs ICS/LABA with intermittent, mild, moderate and severe asthma controlled at Week 12 (using GINA 2012) were 78.1% vs 80.0, 86.5% vs 85.8, 78.5% vs 71.3, and 59.6% vs 61.8%, respectively. Using GINA 2018 criteria proportions were 86.8% vs 95.9, 86.1% vs 93.2, 82.1% vs 85.3, and 71.9% vs 77.6%, respectively.
Asthma control was not improved by adding LTRA to ICS/LABA and may have been unnecessary for some newly diagnosed patients. These findings were irrespective of the GINA criteria (2012 vs 2018) used and baseline severity.