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Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 4;9(1):1254. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36611-w.

INITIAL - An observational study of disease severity in newly diagnosed asthma patients and initial response following 12 weeks' treatment.

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Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, 100029, China.
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, Tianjin First Center Hospital, Tianjin, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Shanxi, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, The Fifth People's Hospital of Shanghai, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, Suining Central Hospital, Suining, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, Southwest Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, China.


In China, there are an estimated 30 million people with asthma, a condition that remains poorly controlled in many patients. The INITIAL study (NCT02143739) was a 12-week, multicentre, prospective, observational study comprising 45 centres across Northern and Southern China that aimed to assess asthma severity among newly diagnosed patients as well as their prescribed medications and response to treatment. The primary objective was to evaluate asthma severity using Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 2006 research criteria. Secondary objectives included the distribution of asthma medication by GINA severity category and evaluation of GINA 2012-defined control levels. Medications were prescribed as per usual clinical practice. At baseline, among 4491 patients, 3.9%, 12.0%, 22.6% and 61.6% had intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent and severe persistent asthma, respectively. Inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting β2 agonist was the most common initial therapy in 90.2% of patients. GINA 2012-defined controlled asthma levels increased in all groups, rising from 6.1% at baseline to 43.0%, 53.8% and 67.8% at Weeks 4, 8 and 12, respectively. Most patients presented with severe persistent asthma. Newly diagnosed patients with asthma could benefit from at least 3 months of regular treatment followed by long-term pharmacological management.

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