Table 2—

Baseline characteristics of the study patients

Control groupIntervention group
Subjects n94107
Male sex46 (49)48 (45)
Age yrs36.3 (17–51)#35.2 (19–51)#
BMI kg·m−224.7 (16.9–38.6)24.8 (15.7–41.4)
Education %
 No high school degree5.31.9
 High school degree48.950.5
 Higher education44.747.7
Smoking status %
 Current smoker21.323.4
 Ex-smoker29.720.7
 Passive smoker30.729.4
Pack-yrs of current smokers5.9 (0.1–10.0)5.5 (0.5–10.0)
Pack-yrs of ex-smokers4.0 (0.1–10.0)5.6 (0.3–14.0)#
Asthma duration yrs22 (1–48)20 (1–47)
Allergic asthma+ %93.581.3
 Tree47.151.7
 Grass62.159.8
 Dog41.442.5
 Cat65.552.9
 Dust mite87.482.8
 Medication14.912.6
Asthma action plan %34.833.6
Peak expiratory flow
 Morning L·min−1390.7 (127.9–755.0)409.7 (165.7–717.1)
 Evening L·min−1409.7 (130.9–786.2)422.5 (143.1–715.4)
ACT score19.3 (10–25)19.7 (11–25)
ACT <15 % of patients8.55.6
ACT 15–19 % of patients42.641.1
ACT 20–25 % of patients48.953.3
Nights with awakenings %9.4 (0–100)7.4 (0–100)
Rescue medication puffs·day−11.33 (0–15.6)1.24 (0–10.7)
Controller medication %
 ICS23.125.0
 LABA9.214.5
 ICS + LABA combination70.864.5
 Theophylline12.315.8
 Leukotriene modifiers1.50.0
 Mean daily dose of ICS§ µg1211.0 (200–4000)1184.1 (200–4000)
  • Data are presented as n (%) or mean (range), unless otherwise indicated. For the parameters recorded on diary cards, the mean values of the 2 weeks of the run-in period were considered for baseline. Values did not differ significantly among both groups according to the unpaired t-test for continuous variables and the Chi-squared test for categorical variables. BMI: body mass index; ACT: Asthma Control Test® (QualityMetric, Lincoln, RI, USA); ICS: inhaled corticosteroids; LABA: long-acting β2-agonists. #: deviation from inclusion criteria (included in all statistical analyses) was n = 1 for “age” in the control group and in the intervention group, n = 2 for “pack-yrs of ex-smokers” in the intervention group; : succeeded any type of higher education (college or university); +: self-reported allergy (via questionnaire); §: expressed as beclomethasone equivalent.