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Medication use and lung function among asthmatics seen in an outpatient chest clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -A needs assessment

T.H. Gebremariam
D.K. Huluka
A.B. Binegdie
M. Getachew
M. O’Donnell
N.W. Schluger
C.B. Sherman


Introduction: Asthma is significant in Ethiopia and appropriate treatment has been inconsistent. We evaluated lung function and medication use among asthmatics seen in the outpatient chest clinic of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from July 1 to December 30, 2015. Chart review was used to obtain clinical information and spirometric values on those with physician-diagnosed asthma. Airflow obstruction was defined as a FEV1/FVC < 70% and an FEV1< 80% predicted.
Results: 96 study subjects were identified. The mean age was 53 ± 12 years; 64.6% (n=62) were female. Twenty-five percent (n=24) had normal spirometry and 75% (n=72) had airflow obstruction. In multivariate analysis, impaired lung function was associated with longer duration of asthma (adjusted OR 3.89, 95% CI 1.24–12.24) and an asthma exacerbation in the last 12 months (adjusted OR 3.38, 95% CI 1.11–10.30). Of those 72 asthmatics with impaired lung function, 94.4% (n=68) were using SABA but only 56% (n=40) were on ICS.
Conclusion: Most study asthmatics had impaired lung function and were not on appropriate asthma treatment. These findings suggest a need for more readily available and inexpensive asthma medications as well as qualified physicians to guide asthma management in Ethiopia.

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