Burden of systemic glucocorticoid-related complications in severe asthma
Current Medical Research and Opinion. Jan 2017;33(1):57-65
Although systemic glucocorticoids (SGCs) are efficacious, their chronic use is associated with a range of complications. Yet limited data are available about the risks following chronic use in patients with severe asthma, who are at risk of long-term SGC-related complications. This study was carried out to investigate the risks of developing SGC-related complications, and to quantify the associated healthcare resource utilization and costs for patients with severe asthma in the United States.
This was a longitudinal, open-cohort, observational study. Medicaid claims data (1997-2013) for patients ≥12 years old with ≥2 asthma diagnoses were used. A total of 26,987 SGC non-users were identified for inclusion in the study, alongside 3628 SGC users with ≥6 months' continuous SGC use.
Multivariate generalized estimating equation models were used to estimate the adjusted risk of developing SGC-related complications, and to quantify the associated healthcare resource utilization and costs. This analysis compared SGC users with SGC non-users, and found that SGC users had an increased likelihood of developing complications. A significant dose-response relationship was demonstrated between chronic SGC use and risk of developing any complications (odds ratios for low, medium, and high SGC exposure were 2.03 [p = .0511], 2.85 [p < .0001], and 3.64 [p >< .0001], respectively, vs. sgc non-users). the increased likelihood of sgc-related complications translated into estimated annual healthcare costs for sgc users of $2712 to $8560 above those of sgc non-users. a key limitation of this study is the disparity in age between the sgc users and the sgc non-users; however, age was included as a confounding factor in the analysis.> .0001],> .0001],>
These findings confirm the risk associated with chronic use of SGCs, irrespective of dose level, and highlight the need for new SGC-sparing treatment strategies for patients with severe asthma.