Asthma Care-Related Carbon Emissions Increased With Poorly Controlled Asthma

In a recent study, excess greenhouse gas emissions of 303,874 carbon dioxide equivalent/year were contributed by poorly controlled asthma
Asthma Care-Related Carbon Emissions Increased With Poorly Controlled Asthma
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, Feb. 29, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- In the United Kingdom, poorly controlled asthma is associated with increased asthma care-related carbon emissions, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in Thorax.

Alexander J.K. Wilkinson, from East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues quantified the environmental impact of asthma care in the retrospective cohort healthCARe-Based envirONmental cost of treatment study. Estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United Kingdom associated with the management of well-controlled versus poorly controlled asthma were determined. A total of 236,506 patients with current asthma were analyzed; 47.3 percent had poorly controlled asthma at baseline.

The researchers found that the overall carbon footprint of asthma care in the United Kingdom was 750,540 tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)/year scaled to the national level; excess GHG emissions of 303,874 CO2e/year were contributed by poorly controlled asthma, which is equivalent to emissions from >124,000 U.K. houses. Poorly versus well-controlled asthma yielded a 3.1- and 8.1-fold higher overall and higher excess per-capita carbon footprint, respectively, which was mainly induced by short-acting β2-agonists, with smaller contributions seen from health care resource utilization.

"The present findings demonstrate that targeting improved asthma outcomes by mitigating the high burden of poorly controlled asthma may elicit significant declines in carbon emissions," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, which funded the study.

Abstract/Full Text

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