Prescription Patterns of Oral Corticosteroids for Asthma Treatment and Related Asthma Phenotypes in University Hospitals in Korea

the Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Clinical Immunology (KAAACI), the Working Group on Severe Asthma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Oral corticosteroids (OCSs) are frequently prescribed for asthma management despite their adverse effects. An understanding of the pattern of OCS treatment is required to optimize asthma treatment and reduce OCS usage. This study evaluated the prescription patterns of OCSs in patients with asthma. Methods: This is a retrospective multicenter observational study. We enrolled adult (≥18 years) patients with asthma who had been followed up by asthma specialists in 13 university hospitals for ≥3 years. Lung function tests, the number of asthma exacerbations, and prescription data, including the days of supply and OCS dosage, were collected. The clinical characteristics of OCS-dependent and exacerbation-prone asthmatic patients were evaluated. Results: Of the 2,386 enrolled patients with asthma, 27.7% (n = 660) were OCS users (the median daily dose of OCS was 20 mg/day prednisolone equivalent to a median of 14 days/year). OCS users were more likely to be female, to be treated at higher asthma treatment steps, and to show poorer lung function and more frequent exacerbations in the previous year than non-OCS users. A total of 88.0% of OCS users were treated with OCS burst with a mean dose of 21.6 ± 10.2 mg per day prednisolone equivalent to 7.8 ± 3.2 days per event and 2.4 times per year. There were 2.1% (51/2,386) of patients with OCS-dependent asthma and 9.5% (227/2,386) with exacerbation-prone asthma. These asthma phenotypes were consistent over the 3 consecutive years in 47.1% of OCS-dependent asthmatic patients and 34.4% of exacerbation-prone asthmatic patients when assessed annually over the 3-year study period. Conclusions: We used real-world data from university hospitals in Korea to describe the OCS prescription patterns and relievers in asthma. Novel strategies are required to reduce the burden of OCS use in patients with asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-313
Number of pages14
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology


  • Asthma
  • corticosteroid
  • disease exacerbation
  • lung function tests
  • phenotype
  • prescription patterns


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