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.
- Blood eosinophils
- Clinical burden