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Asthma Mortality in Spain From 1980 to 2019: Trends and Perspectives in the New Treatment Era

Delgado-Romero J1, Pereyra-Rodriguez JJ2

1Allergy Department, Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Seville, Spain
2Medicine Department, University of Seville, Seville, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2023; Vol 33(2) : 119-125
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0771

Background: Previous studies suggest that asthma mortality rates in Spain have been decreasing in recent years. However, this trend is not homogeneous across age groups.
Objective: To analyze asthma mortality rates over a 40-year period, focusing on changes associated with the development of new therapeutic approaches.
Methods: Death records and mid-year population data were collected from the National Statistics Institute. Using the direct method, agestandardized mortality rates were calculated for the overall population and for each sex and age group. Significant changes in mortality trends were identified using joinpoint regression analysis. The independent effects of age, period, and cohort and potential years of life lost due to asthma were also analyzed.
Results: Age-standardized asthma mortality rates decreased in Spain from 7.38 to 2.03 deaths per 100 000 from the first to the last quinquennium of the study (1980-1984 to 2015-2019) for the whole population. This decrease was more intense among men, where a decrease from 10.37/100 000 to 0.91/100 000 was observed compared with 5.53 to 2.77/100 000 in women. Mortality decreased in all age groups. During the last 3 years, the decrease stabilized in patients aged >64 years but increased in those aged 35-64. Mortality has been decreasing rapidly since the 1990s in patients aged <35 years.
Conclusion: Asthma mortality rates began to decline in 1980. The decrease was observed among younger cohorts starting in the 1990s, thus confirming earlier trends. Improved diagnosis and development of new therapies for asthma may have played a role in the changes observed. Close monitoring of asthma mortality rates is necessary to confirm these trends.

Key words: Ecological studies, Mortality. Immunotherapy, Asthma, Therapy, Epidemiology, Age-period-cohort, Potential years of life lost