Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cost of medication and stigma leading asthma sufferers to risk health

Date:
February 20, 2013
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
The high cost of medication, stigmatization and poor acceptance of their condition are causing young adults to take a dangerous approach to managing their asthma, according to new research.

The high cost of medication, stigmatisation and poor acceptance of their condition are causing young adults to take a dangerous approach to managing their asthma, according to new research published February 20 in the journal BMJ Open.

Related Articles


In the UK 5.4 million people are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (one in 11) and 4.3 million adults (one in 12). There were 1,131 deaths from asthma in the UK in 2009. Most asthma deaths are preventable.

Despite the availability of effective treatments, poor asthma control is common.

The overuse of short-acting bronchodilators ("quick-acting" inhalers, usually blue, which relieve acute asthma symptoms) is a marker of poor asthma control and is linked to increased risk of hospital admission and death from asthma.

Regular use of low dose anti-inflammatory corticosteroid inhalers (preventer inhalers, usually brown) are fundamental to successfully controlling asthma, and preventing asthma symptoms.

In this study, led by Queen Mary, University of London, researchers looked at why young adults (20yrs -32yrs) overuse short-acting bronchodilators. The researchers interviewed 21 young adults from the same urban general practice who were classed as either high users (12) or low users (nine) of short-acting bronchodilators as judged by their number of prescriptions.

They found:

  • Cost was seen as a major disincentive to obtaining preventive medication
  • High-users were more likely to express anger or resentment at their condition
  • High-users often reported poor control of their asthma symptoms
  • Stigma was common, with inhalers described as something "to hide in a bag"

Chris Griffiths, Professor of Primary Care at Queen Mary, who led the research said: "Relying on short-acting bronchodilators -- 'my blue (inhaler) takes a battering' as one patient put it -- is not a safe way to manage asthma and individuals taking this approach are putting their lives and health at risk.

"Our findings suggest a number of possible strategies to support people to manage their condition better. Providing free asthma medication, particularly to those on low incomes, could help boost the numbers using preventive medication. Better education, particularly at the time of diagnosis, could help people accept and adapt to their illness, while reducing stigmatisation might mean people feel more comfortable about using their inhalers in public."

Emily Humphreys, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Asthma UK, said: "Over-reliance on reliever asthma medicines instead of preventers puts people at greater risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack, so this study is really important in highlighting some of the reasons behind it.

"It's telling that young people felt the costs of prescriptions were such a major barrier to taking the right medicines at the right time and we're keen to see the introduction of free prescriptions for long-term conditions so that young people with asthma would no longer face the dilemma of which medicine to buy when they can only afford one.

"In the meantime it is absolutely crucial that healthcare professionals explain how medicines work, particularly when younger people are diagnosed with asthma, to ensure that they understand how to manage their condition."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sue Cole, Clive Seale, Chris Griffiths. The blue one takes a battering’ why do young adults with asthma overuse bronchodilator inhalers? A qualitative study. BMJ Open, 2013;3:e002247 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002247

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Cost of medication and stigma leading asthma sufferers to risk health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220100740.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2013, February 20). Cost of medication and stigma leading asthma sufferers to risk health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220100740.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Cost of medication and stigma leading asthma sufferers to risk health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220100740.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins