Characterization of severe asthma worldwide: data from the International Severe Asthma Registry

Eileen Wang, Michael E. Wechsler, Trung N. Tran, Liam G. Heaney, Rupert C. Jones, Andrew N. Menzies-Gow, John Busby, David J. Jackson, Paul E. Pfeffer, Chin Kook Rhee, You Sook Cho, G. Walter Canonica, Enrico Heffler, Peter G. Gibson, Mark Hew, Matthew Peters, Erin S. Harvey, Marianna Alacqua, James Zangrilli, Lakmini BulathsinhalaVictoria A. Carter, Isha Chaudhry, Neva Eleangovan, Naeimeh Hosseini, Ruth B. Murray, David B. Price*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Clinical characteristics of the international population with severe asthma are unknown. Intercountry comparisons are hindered by variable data collection within regional and national severe asthma registries. We aimed to describe demographic and clinical characteristics of patients treated in severe asthma services in the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Methods: The International Severe Asthma Registry retrospectively and prospectively collected data in patients with severe asthma (≥ 18 years old), receiving Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) Step 5 treatment or with severe asthma remaining uncontrolled at GINA Step 4. Baseline demographic and clinical data were collected from the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Italy, and the Severe Asthma Web-based Database registry (including Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand) from December 2014 to December 2017. Results: We included 4,990 patients. Mean (SD) age was 55.0 (15.9) years, and mean (SD) age at asthma onset was 30.7 (17.7) years. Patients were predominantly female (59.3%) and white (72.6%), had never smoked (60.5%), and were overweight or obese (70.4%); 34.9% were at GINA Step 5; and 57.2% had poorly controlled disease. A total of 51.1% of patients were receiving regular intermittent oral corticosteroids, and 25.4% were receiving biologics (72.6% for those at GINA Step 5). Mean (SD) exacerbation rate was 1.7 (2.7) per year. Intercountry variation was observed in clinical characteristics, prescribed treatments, and biomarker profiles. Conclusions: Using a common data set and definitions, this study describes severe asthma characteristics of a large patient cohort included in multiple severe asthma registries and identifies country differences. Whether these are related to underlying epidemiological factors, environmental factors, phenotypes, asthma management systems, treatment access, and/or cultural factors requires further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-804
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • biologics
  • comorbidity
  • eosinophils
  • FENO
  • IgE


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