Demographic and clinical information from adults with severe asthma worldwide were collected to describe severe asthma characteristics, according to study results published in the journal CHEST.

Researchers prospectively and retrospectively collected baseline demographic and clinical data from adults with severe asthma in the United States, Europe, and Asia/Pacific region from the International Severe Asthma Registry (ISAR). Variables of interest included demographics, comorbidities, extent of disease control, treatments, exacerbation rates, and intercountry differences. 

Data from 4990 patient records were included. The average patient age was 55.0 years, 59.3% were women, and 72.6% were white. The average age at asthma onset was 30.7 years, and 70.4% were either overweight or obese. When disease control was analyzed, 57.2% were categorized as having poor asthma control. Severe asthma was treated with oral corticosteroids in 5.1% of patients and 25.4% of patients received biologic therapy The mean exacerbation rate was 1.4% per year.

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Although there were many intercountry differences, including some that were likely the result of systemic differences in health care, an earlier age of asthma onset in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand was noted.

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“This study provides the first description of an international managed severe asthma population, and facilitated a comparison of demographic and clinical characteristics across country and health care systems,” the researchers wrote. “Whether these are related to underlying epidemiological, environmental factors, phenotype, asthma management systems, treatment access and/or cultural factors requires further study.”

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Wang E, Wechsler ME, Tran TN, et al. Characterization of severe asthma worldwide: data from the International Severe Asthma Registry (ISAR) [published online November 27, 2019]. CHEST. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2019.10.053