The biggest cause of asthma-related hospital admissions is nonadherence to inhaled steroid medication regimens, according to the results of a study reported in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (December 2004). The investigators examined the medical records of 405 patients with asthma and found that overall only 50% followed their medication regimen.
After analyzing the data, the researchers learned that patients who missed 1 out of 4 doses of their inhaled steroid had twice the risk of going to the hospital. The evidence also indicated that 60% of asthma-related hospitalizations could have been avoided if the patients had taken their inhaled steroids as prescribed. Furthermore, the number of emergency room visits and the need for oral steroid medications were connected with poor compliance with inhaled-steroid regimens.