Types, frequency and impact of asthma triggers on patients' lives: a quantitative study in five European countries

David Price, Peter Dale, Emma Elder, Kenneth R Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To identify the types, frequency and impact of asthma triggers and the relationship to asthma control among adults with asthma in Europe.

METHODS: Adults with self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma receiving maintenance asthma treatment and self-reported exposure to known asthma triggers completed an online questionnaire; a subset completed a diary over 3-4 weeks. Information on asthma control (Asthma Control Test™ [ACT]), asthma triggers, frequency of exposure and behaviours in response or to avoid asthma triggers and the perceived impact on daily life was captured. A post-hoc analysis evaluated the impact of high trigger burden on the frequency of severe asthma exacerbations, hospitalisations and days lost at work/study.

RESULTS: A total of 1202 adults participated and 177 completed the diary. Asthma was uncontrolled for the majority (76%) of participants and most (52%) reported exposure to 6-15 asthma triggers. As trigger burden increased, behavioural changes to manage trigger exposure had a significantly increased impact on daily life (p < 0.0001) and job choice (p = 0.002). Participants reporting a high trigger burden (>16) were more likely to report uncontrolled asthma than those with a low trigger burden (1-5). Participants with a high trigger burden had previously experienced on average two more severe asthma attacks during a lifetime (p < 0.001), two more hospitalisations (p < 0.001) and 3.5 more missed days at work or study in the last year due to their asthma (p < 0.001) than those with a low trigger burden.

CONCLUSIONS: Adults with asthma reporting a high trigger burden (>16 different triggers) experience more severe asthma attacks than those reporting lower trigger burdens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Air Pollution
  • Asthma
  • Dust
  • Europe
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult
  • Asthma Control
  • Asthma Trigger
  • Behaviour
  • Exacerbation
  • Hospitalisation
  • Questionnaire
  • Trigger Burden


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