Low adherence to asthma meds following hospitalization

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 17, 2005

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About half of patients with severe asthma who were hospitalized because of the disease stopped using their prescribed inhaled and oral corticosteroids within one week of their discharge, according to a new study in the Dec. 15, 2004, issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Our results provide strong evidence that even under optimal conditions with free medications and intensive inpatient education, discontinuation of both inhaled corticosteroids and oral corticosteroids is common within seven days of discharge home," said the study's lead author, Jerry A. Krishnan, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The researchers measured post-hospital adherence in 52 asthmatics. The participants were nearly all African-American, 65% were female and almost half had a history of near-fatal asthma.

Investigators advocate rigorous monitoring of adherence to therapy in clinical practice and home visits from nurses to patients with the worst asthma control who also, it turns out, are least likely to have used prescribed corticosteroids after discharge.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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