Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 172-177

Demographic and clinical patterns of severe asthma in the Middle East

1 Cleveland Clinic, Respiratory and Allergy Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Rashid Hospital, Dubai, UAE
3 Division of Respiratory Medicine, Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE
4 Cleveland Clinic, Medical Sub-Specialties Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Mohamed Abuzakouk
Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atm.ATM_131_20

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BACKGROUND: Severe asthma is a major burden on health-economic resources; hence, knoing the epidemiology of these patients is important in planning and provision of asthma care. In addition, identifying and managing the comorbidities helps improve symptoms and reduce associated morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVES: Epidemiology of difficult asthma has not been ell studied in the Middle East, so in this study, e present the demographic and clinical characteristics of severe asthma in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). METHODS: We retrospectively revieed the notes of severe asthma patients attending three tertiary care hospitals beteen May 2015 and December 2019. Data on baseline demographics, asthma characteristics, treatment, and comorbidities ere collected. RESULTS: We revieed the notes of 458 patients (271 females and 187 males) that fulfilled the 2019 Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines for the diagnosis of severe asthma. The mean age as 47.7 (standard deviation 17.2) years. Males had significantly higher asthma control test scores (17.9 vs. 16, P = 0.01) and mean blood eosinophils (0.401 vs. 0.294, P <0.01) than females. The most common comorbidity observed as allergic rhinitis (52.2%) folloed by gastroesophageal reflux disease (27.1%). In total, 109 (23.8%) patients ere on biological therapies ith most patients being on omalizumab and dupilumab (29 and 18 patients, respectively). Most patients ere nonsmokers (97.2%), and majority ere of TH2-high phenotype (75.7%). CONCLUSIONS: In this first report of severe asthma characteristics in the UAE, e found a pattern of female preponderance and most patients having a Th2-high phenotype. The findings are likely to help optimize asthma care in the region in the era of biologic therapies.

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