Smoking habit among adults visiting the emergency room (ER) for an asthma exacerbation
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1st Department of Critical Care, Evaggelismos General Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
First ICU, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Evaggelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece
Evaggelismos General Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens Greece
1st Pulmonary Department, Evangelismos General Hospital, Athens Greece
Pulmonology Department. Trikala General Hospital, Trikala, Greece
National Institute for Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
School of Science and Technology, Hellenic Open University, Patra, Greece
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A91
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Asthma exacerbation is a major cause of Emergency Room (ER) visits. Asthma patients who smoke have more frequent ER visits and hospitalizations for an exacerbation than asthma patients who do not smoke. The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence of smoking exposure in adults with an asthma exacerbation visiting ER.

Patients with an asthma exacerbation at the ER from August to November 2019 where assessed for a definite asthma diagnosis at the outpatient clinic. Exposure to smoking was assessed.

A total of 81 patients were enrolled, with 36.2% having an asthma diagnosis for the first time. The majority of patients had mild asthma. Hospital admission occurred in 13.3% of patients, 43% of the enrolled asthmatic patients were current smokers with a median of 19 pack-years (range 3–80), and median 20 cigarettes per day (range 1–50) while 28.5 % were former smokers, and 28.5% never smokers. Among the group of asthmatics with first diagnosis, smokers were 46%. The percentage of smokers in different stages were: Stage I-II (42.8%), Stage III (50%), and Stage IV-V (50%). Of the non-smokers, 25.5% were exposed to passive smoking.

Although it is generally known that smoking is affecting asthma severity and exacerbation rates, smoking exposure was high among adults visiting ER for an asthma attack regardless of the severity stage of asthma. Smoking exposure is a modifiable risk factor and ER offers an opportunity to identify patients with asthma who could benefit from outpatients preventive care.