Association Between Clinical Burden and Blood Eosinophil Counts in Asthma: Findings From a Korean Adult Asthma Cohort

Mi Yeong Kim, Eun Jung Jo, Sujeong Kim, Min Hye Kim, Jae Woo Jung, Joo Hee Kim, Ji Yong Moon, Jae Woo Kwon, Jae Hyun Lee, Chan Sun Park, Hyun Jung Jin, Yoo Seob Shin, Sae Hoon Kim, Young Joo Cho, Jung Won Park, Sang Heon Cho, Tae Bum Kim, Hye Kyung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Some reports have suggested that the clinical and economic burdens of asthma are associated with blood eosinophil levels. The association between clinical burden and blood eosinophil counts were evaluated in a Korean adult asthma cohort. Methods: Clinical information including blood eosinophil counts that were not affected by systemic corticosteroids were extracted from the Cohort for Reality and Evolution of Adult Asthma in Korea database. Clinical burden was defined as 1) asthma control status, 2) medication demand and 3) acute exacerbation (AE) events during 1 consecutive year after enrollment. All patients were divided into atopic and non-atopic asthmatics. The associations between asthma outcomes and the blood eosinophil count were evaluated. Results: In total, 302 patients (124 atopic and 178 non-atopic asthmatics) were enrolled. In all asthmatics, the risk of severe AE was higher in patients with blood eosinophil levels < 100 cells/μL than in patients with levels ≥ 100 cells/μL (odds ratio [OR], 5.406; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.266–23.078; adjusted P = 0.023). Among atopic asthmatics, the risk of moderate AE was higher in patients with blood eosinophil levels ≥ 300 cells/μL than in patients with levels < 300 cells/μL (OR, 3.558; 95% CI, 1.083–11.686; adjusted P = 0.036). Among non-atopic asthmatics, the risk of medication of Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) steps 4 or 5 was higher in patients with high blood eosinophil levels than in patients with low blood eosinophil levels at cutoffs of 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 cells/μL. Conclusion: The baseline blood eosinophil count may predict the future clinical burden of asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (2019M3E5D3073365).

Funding Information:
We thank the members of the study centers for participating in this study. The COREA Study Group includes the following investigators: Woo-Jung Song, Hyouk-Soo Kwon, and You Sook Cho (Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea); Byoung Whui Choi (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea); An-Soo Jang (Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea); Sang-Hoon Kim and So Young Park (Eulji University, Seoul, Korea); Taehoon Lee (University of Ulsan, Ulsan, Korea); Jeong-Hee Choi (Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hwaseong, Korea); Young-Hee Nam (Dong-A University, Busan, Korea); Sun-Young Yoon (Konkuk University Chungju Hospital, Chungju, Korea); Min-Suk Yang (Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea); Jaechun Lee (Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea); Gyu Young Hur (Korea University, Seoul, Korea); Hee-Kyoo Kim (Kosin University, Busan, Korea); and Sang Ha Kim (Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences


  • Asthma
  • Blood eosinophils
  • Clinical burden


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