The comorbidity of asthma and allergic rhinitis is remarkably high, but not much is known about the effects of this combined condition on the quality of life (QOL). So we aimed to evaluate the predictors of asthma exacerbations and the effect of the exacerbations on QOL through a one-year, large-scale, observational study in Japanese patients with asthma and rhinitis.
A case survey by attending physicians and a patient survey were conducted at each assessment timepoint, i.e. on the day of enrollment and at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after enrollment over a period of one year. Patients were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of asthmatic attacks after enrollment and were matched using propensity scores to evaluate the predictors of asthma exacerbations and the effect of the exacerbation on QOL.
Potential predictors of asthma exacerbations included high body mass index value, low forced expiratory flow 75% of forced vital capacity (FEF75%), severe rhinitis as determined based on ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma). Although patients with asthma exacerbations had significantly impaired QOL at baseline as evidenced by the economic aspects, in addition to physical, mental, and social activities, no further reduction with the attacks was observed.
This study suggested that higher body mass index (BMI) and severe asthma as well as severe rhinitis were predictors of asthma exacerbations. Although patients with asthma exacerbations had impaired QOL, attacks caused no further reduction.