Systemic Corticosteroid-Related Complications and Costs in Adults with Persistent Asthma

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Systemic corticosteroids (SCS) may cause complications for patients with asthma. Objective: We sought to better understand the burden of SCS use in persistent asthma, including health care costs. Methods: Adult patients with persistent asthma were identified in the IBM MarketScan Databases from January 2003 to July 2016. The index date was set as the first SCS prescription for SCS users or an algorithm-matched date for non-SCS users. Patients were required to have ≥1 year of data before and after the index date. Based on the number of SCS claims in the first year after index, patients were categorized into 3 SCS groups: 0 SCS claims, 1 to 3 claims, and 4+ claims. Inverse probability of treatment weights were applied to adjust for differences between SCS and non-SCS users. Analyses included weighted and multivariate modeling to assess SCS-related complications and costs during a 3-year follow-up. Results: A total of 86,786 SCS users (1-3 claims: 76,690; 4+ claims: 10,096) and 91,409 non-SCS users were included; 45% remained 3 years after index. In multivariate analysis, the 3-year risk of developing any chronic complication was 6% greater for those with 1 to 3 claims and 26% greater for those with 4+ claims compared with non-SCS users (P < .001). Multivariate-adjusted health care costs over 3 years were significantly greater as 4+ users incurred $22,311 greater total costs, $4627 greater asthma-related costs, and $2647 greater chronic complication–related costs than non-SCS users (P < .001). Conclusions: In this study, adults with persistent asthma receiving SCS treatment had greater odds of complications and greater associated costs over 3 years than matched non-SCS asthma patients.

This document is currently not available here.