Asthma: Resource use and costs for inhaled corticosteroid vs leukotriene modifier treatment - A meta-analysis

Michael T. Halpern, Zeba M. Khan, Richard H. Stanford, Katharine M. Spayde, Maceij Golubiewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the effects of inhaled corticosteroid treatment with leukotriene modifier treatment on medical resource use and costs for asthma patients. Study design: Meta-analysis combining results from published and unpublished studies. Data sources: Studies were identified from the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and the GlaxoSmithKline internal database study registers. Two independent reviewers evaluated the identified studies; studies meeting specified inclusion criteria were abstracted and summarized by meta-analysis with a random effects model. Outcomes measured: Hospitalization rate, emergency department visit rate, emergency department costs, drug costs, total asthma-related costs, and total medical care costs. Results: Patients taking inhaled corticosteroids had: • a significantly lower annual rate of hospitalization than those taking leukotriene modifiers (2.2% vs 4.3%, respectively; P<.05) • a greater decline in hospitalization rate (before vs after therapy initiation) than those taking leukotriene modifiers (decline of 2.4% vs 0.55%; P<.01). • lower annual rate of emergency department visits than those taking leukotriene modifiers (6.2% vs 7.7%; P<.05). • lower total asthma-related medical costs than those taking leukotriene modifiers (P<.05) and a 17% reduction in overall total medical care costs (P not significant). Conclusions: Patients with asthma treated with inhaled corticosteroids had significantly fewer asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits and lower total asthma-related health care costs than patients treated with leukotriene modifiers. These meta-analysis findings are consistent with results from randomized controlled trials showing improvements in lung function for patients taking inhaled corticosteroids as opposed to leukotriene modifiers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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