Background: There are sparse real-world data on severe asthma exacerbations (SAE) in children. This multinational cohort study assessed the incidence of and risk factors for SAE and the incidence of asthma-related rehospitalization in children with asthma. Methods: Asthma patients 5-17 years old with ≥1 year of follow-up were identified in six European electronic databases from the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, Denmark and Spain in 2008-2013. Asthma was defined as ≥1 asthma-specific disease code within 3 months of prescriptions/dispensing of asthma medication. Severe asthma was defined as high-dosed inhaled corticosteroids plus a second controller. SAE was defined by systemic corticosteroids, emergency department visit and/or hospitalization all for reason of asthma. Risk factors for SAE were estimated by Poisson regression analyses. Results: The cohort consisted of 212 060 paediatric asthma patients contributing to 678 625 patient-years (PY). SAE rates ranged between 17 and 198/1000 PY and were higher in severe asthma and highest in severe asthma patients with a history of exacerbations. Prior SAE (incidence rate ratio 3-45) and younger age increased the SAE risk in all countries, whereas obesity, atopy and GERD were a risk factor in some but not all countries. Rehospitalization rates were up to 79% within 1 year. Conclusions: In a real-world setting, SAE rates were highest in children with severe asthma with a history of exacerbations. Many severe asthma patients were rehospitalized within 1 year. Asthma management focusing on prevention of SAE is important to reduce the burden of asthma.

asthma: epidemiology, asthma: risk factors, epidemiology: prevalence,
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Department of Medical Informatics

Engelkes, M, Baan, E.J. (Esme J.), de Ridder, M.A.J, Svensson, E. (Elisabeth), Prieto-Alhambra, D. (Daniel), Lapi, F, … Verhamme, K.M.C. (2020). Incidence, risk factors and re-exacerbation rate of severe asthma exacerbations in a multinational, multidatabase pediatric cohort study. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. doi:10.1111/pai.13237