UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Trends in oral corticosteroids use in severe asthma: a 14-year population-based study Sadatsafavi, Mohsen; Khakban, Amir; Tavakoli, Hamid; Ehteshami-Afshar, Solmaz; Lynd, Larry D.; FitzGerald, J. Mark


Background: Oral corticosteroids are important components of pharmacotherapy in severe asthma. Our objective was to describe the extent, trends, and factors associated with exposure to oral corticosteroids (OCS) in a severe asthma cohort. Methods: We used administrative health databases of British Columbia, Canada (2000–2014) and validated algorithms to retrospectively create a cohort of severe asthma patients. Exposure to OCS within each year of follow-up was measured in two ways: maintenance use as receiving on average ≥ 2.5 mg/day (prednisone-equivalent) OCS, and episodic use as the number of distinct episodes of OCS exposure for up to 14 days. Trends and factors associated with exposure on three time axes (calendar year, age, and time since diagnosis) were evaluated using Poisson regression. Results: 21,144 patients (55.4% female; mean entry age 28.7) contributed 40,803 follow-up years, in 8.2% of which OCS was used as maintenance therapy. Maintenance OCS use declined by 3.8%/calendar year (p 

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