Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 217-221

Asthma insights and reality in the United Arab Emirates

1 Department of Pulmonology, Rashid Hospital, Dubai, P.O. Box 4545, United Arab Emirates
2 Program of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, CIMERA, IIIes Ballears, Spain
3 Department of Allergy, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Bassam Hassan Saleh Hassan Mahboub
Department of Pulmonology, Rashid Hospital, Dubai, P.O. Box 4545
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: GlaxoSmithKline, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.69109

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Background : The burden of asthma in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the extent to which guidelines are being followed for optimum asthma control are largely unknown. This survey assessed the current level of asthma control, the burden of the disease, and adherence to asthma guidelines by patients. Methods : A face-to-face interview of 200 asthmatics in the UAE was conducted. In addition to the questionnaire administered by expert interviewers, each respondent self-completed an Asthma Control Test. The sample was stratified by region within the country and sampled proportionately. Results : Sudden severe attacks of asthma were reported by 64% in the past year. Day time symptoms and night time symptoms were reported by 57.5% and 35.5%, respectively, in the past 4 weeks. Overall, 52.8% of the children and 17.1% of the adults missed school and work in the past year, respectively. The percentage of asthmatics that had emergency room visits within the past year was 27.5%, and 4% were hospitalized. Only 5.5% used inhaled corticosteroids in the past year and 47.5% were on short-acting beta-2 agonists. Only 17.8% ever owned a peak flow meter and only 30% ever had a lung function test. Only 17% had scheduled follow-up and 66% were followed-up by general practitioners. Conclusion : This survey shows that the current level of asthma control in the UAE is far from optimal. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the awareness among patients and update doctors about asthma control guidelines for attaining optimal asthma control, and thus reducing the burden of the disease.

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