Symptom control among asthmatics with a clinically significant smoking history: a cross-sectional study in Finland

  • Toni Kiljander (Creator)
  • Tuija Poussa (Creator)
  • Timo Helin (Creator)
  • Antero Jaakkola (Creator)
  • Kari Venho (Creator)
  • Lauri Lehtimäki (Creator)



Abstract Background Surprisingly little is known about asthma control among asthmatics who smoke. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate asthma symptom control according to the GINA guidelines among asthmatics with a clinically significant smoking history. Methods One hundred ninety asthmatics from primary care in Finland were investigated. The patients were current or previous cigarette smokers with a history of 10 or more pack-years. They completed a questionnaire including questions on asthma symptoms and reliever use so that their level of asthma symptom control (well controlled, partly controlled, or uncontrolled) according to GINA could be determined. Results Sixty-six (34.7%) patients had their asthma well controlled, 81 (42.6%) had their asthma partly controlled, and 43 (22.6%) had uncontrolled asthma. Current smokers had uncontrolled asthma more often than ex-smokers, OR 2.54 (95% CI 1.25–5.14, p = 0.01). Patients with moderate to severe asthma exacerbation during the previous year had uncontrolled asthma more often than patients without an exacerbation, OR 2.17 (95% CI 1.06–4.47, p = 0.04), and patients with FEV1 80% of predicted, OR 2.04 (95% CI 1.02–4.08, p = 0.04). Conclusions Asthmatic patients with a clinically significant smoking history often do not have well controlled asthma. Poor asthma symptom control was associated with current smoking status, history of exacerbations and impaired lung function. Therefore, every attempt should be made to help asthmatics who smoke to quit smoking.
Date made available16 Apr 2020

Field of science, Statistics Finland

  • 3121 Internal medicine
  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

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