Data from more than half a million patients found that over 200,000 people or 38 per cent were classified as having high SABA inhaler use who prescribed higher than three inhalers a year (Photo: iStock).

Over-reliance on SABA inhalers could lead to increase in asthma exacerbations and asthma-related healthcare utilisation, a latest study has showed.

The SABINA (SABA use IN Asthma) study, published in The Advances in Therapy journal, examined prescription patterns and the impact of short acting beta-two agonist (SABA) inhaler use on asthma-related health outcomes in the UK.

Billed as the UK’s largest asthma study using real world-data, the retrospective, longitudinal, open-cohort study analysed information from more than half a million patients between 2007-2017.

The study found that over 200,000 people or 38 per cent as having high SABA inhaler use which meant prescriptions for three or more inhalers a year.

High SABA inhaler use was associated with approximately twice the number of exacerbations or asthma attacks compared with low users regardless of asthma severity, the study has found.

The research has also found that high SABA inhaler use was associated with an increased risk of exacerbations compared to low SABA inhaler users.

Yang Xu, Head of Inhaled Respiratory Medicine, AstraZeneca UK said: “This real-world UK data, confirms the association between SABA over-use (or over-reliance) and the increased risk of severe attacks observed in other studies around the world.

“It also highlights the scale of over-reliance in the UK. Now, more than ever, we need to adopt a mindset of zero tolerance for asthma attacks, and eliminate SABA over-reliance.”

The SABINA I study was developed by AstraZeneca, who has 40 years experience in asthma research, jointly with experts from the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and leading respiratory healthcare professionals.

The SABA reliever is currently one of the most commonly prescribed therapies for asthma.

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