Clinical predictors of remission and persistence of adult-onset asthma.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Adult-onset asthma is an important but relatively understudied asthma phenotype and little is known about its natural course and prognosis. The remission rate is believed to be low, and it is still obscure which factors predict remission or persistence of the disease.

OBJECTIVE

This study sought to determine the remission rate and identify predictors of persistence and remission of adult-onset asthma.

METHODS

Two hundred adult patients with recently diagnosed (<1 year) asthma were recruited from secondary and tertiary pulmonary clinics and prospectively followed for 5 years. Clinical, functional, and inflammatory parameters were assessed at baseline and at yearly visits. Asthma remission was defined as absence of asthma symptoms for ≥1 year and no asthma medication use for ≥1 year. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were performed.

RESULTS

Five-year follow-up data of 170 patients (85%) was available. Of these, 27 patients (15.9%) experienced asthma remission. Patients with asthma persistence were older, had worse asthma control, required higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids, had more severe airway hyperresponsiveness, more often nasal polyps, and higher levels of blood neutrophils as compared to patients who experienced clinical remission. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, only moderate to severe bronchial hyperresponsiveness and nasal polyps were independent predictors of asthma persistence. Patients with these 2 characteristics had <1% chance of asthma remission.

CONCLUSIONS

One in 6 patients with adult-onset asthma experiences remission within the first 5 years of the disease. In patients with moderate to severe bronchial hyperresponsiveness and nasal polyposis, the chance of remission is close to zero.

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