Newswise — ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (February 25, 2012) - Forty-nine percent of children and adults with persistent asthma are not using controller medications according to results of a first of its kind survey of 1,000 asthma sufferers. Results are published in the March 2012 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“According to survey results, 79 percent of these patients had persistent asthma and should have been on controllers,” said lead author Gene Colice, MD, of George Washington University School of Medicine. “Of the 51 percent on controllers, 86 percent were inadequately treated as their asthma was not well or very poorly controlled.”

The CHOICE (Comprehensive Survey of Healthcare Professionals and Asthma Patients Offering Insight on Current Treatment Gaps and Emerging Device Options) survey used standardized methods established in expert panel guidelines. Results demonstrate the current extent of poor asthma control in the United States. Asthma is a common illness, affecting 7 million, or 10 percent of children and 17.5 million or eight percent of adults. About 4,000 people die each year due to asthma.

The poorer the asthma control, the poorer the patients’ quality of life and the higher the risk for emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Patients with severe persistent and uncontrolled asthma more frequently reported often feeling isolated, fearful, depressed and tired.

“Uncontrolled asthma is severely affecting patients’ quality of life and increases the risk of emergency department visits and hospitalizations,” said co-author and ACAAI past president Michael Blaiss, MD. “Asthma sufferers need to schedule regular office visits, talk with their allergists about preventative controller therapy and then use those medications regularly.”

Research shows that asthma patients under the care of an allergist have better outcomes at less cost because of fewer emergency care visits, fewer hospitalizations, reduced lengths of hospital stays, fewer days missed from work or school, increased productivity in their work and personal lives, greater satisfaction with their care and an improved quality of life.

Consumers can take a relief self-test to gauge their asthma symptoms, find free community allergy screenings, obtain a personalized plan on how to get relief and find an allergist at


The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

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Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology