Objective: In young children with asthmatic symptoms diagnostic difficulties lead to use of trials of asthma medication as a diagnostic tool. Our aim is to quantify the persistent use of asthma medication, initiated in the first year of life and identify determinants of this persistent use. Patients and methods: We identified 165 children within the PIAMA (Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy) birth cohort who used asthma medication before the age of one. Persistent use was investigated during three years after the first prescription. A Cox regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with persistent use. Results: A total of 58.8% of children continued using asthma medication after the first prescription and 10.3% continued during three years. Children with doctor-diagnosed asthma (Hazard ratio of discontinuation (HR) = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45-0.91) or prescribed inhaled corticosteroids in the first year of life (HR of discontinuation = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.40-0.86) were 1.6-1.7 times more likely to continue using asthma medication. Conclusions: Persistence of asthma medication, prescribed in the first year of life is very low and is positively associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma and use of inhaled corticosteroids. Characterizing persistent users of asthma medication is important to understand prescribing of asthma medication in this age group.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Adherence, Asthma, Asthma medication, Cohort study, Pharmacoepidemiology, Preschool children, antiasthmatic agent, article, asthma, beta 2 adrenergic receptor stimulating agent, cholinergic receptor blocking agent, cohort analysis, corticosteroid, cromone, female, hazard ratio, human, major clinical study, male, montelukast, multivariate analysis, preschool child, prescription, priority journal, proportional hazards model, unclassified drug, univariate analysis
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2008.04.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/15937
Journal Respiratory Medicine
Zuidgeest, M.G.P, Smit, H.A, Bracke, M, Wijga, A.H, Brunekreef, B, Hoekstra, M.O, … Leufkens, H.G.M. (2008). Persistence of asthma medication use in preschool children. Respiratory Medicine, 102(10), 1446–1451. doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2008.04.003