- Repeated courses of systemic corticosteroids (SCS) were linked to an increased risk of complications in asthmatic adults.
Why this matters
- Physicians may reduce SCS risks by keeping careful medication histories and optimizing other therapy when possible.
- Retrospective analysis of adults with persistent asthma enrolled in IBM MarketScan Research Databases (2003-2016).
- Patients were propensity-matched on relevant characteristics.
- Index date was defined as date of first SCS prescription or, if no SCS prescribed during study period, asthma diagnosis date.
- Chronic complications of SCS were compared between controls (no SCS claims in study period) and groups defined by number of SCS claims in postindex date year:
- 10,096 high-frequency users (≥4 claims).
- 76,690 low-frequency users (1-3 claims).
- Funding: AstraZeneca.
- High-frequency users were more likely than controls to have had a complication.
- At 1 and 5 years postindex, high-frequency users had:
- more complications than controls (15% and 33%, respectively).
- a higher proportion with >1 complication vs controls (28% vs 67% at 1 year, 67% vs 56% at 5 years).
- In years 3-5 postindex, low-frequency users had more complications than controls, most commonly hypertension, obesity, gastrointestinal bleeds, and diabetes.
- Retrospective analysis.
- Claims data do not guarantee full courses of prescribed medications were taken.