Underdiagnosis and undertreatment of asthma: A 9-year study of Italian conscripts

Giorgio Ciprandi, Andrea Vizzaccaro, Ignazio Cirillo, Mariangela Tosca, Giovanni Passalacqua, Giorgio Walter Canonica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During the last 20 years, the epidemiology of asthma has been investigated in various populations, thus providing interesting data including the accuracy of diagnosis and the adequacy of treatment. Methods: We studied for 9 years the epidemiological features of asthma in a homogeneous population of 18-year-old males referred to La Spezia Military Navy Hospital for a call-up visit (conscripts). Results: During the period of 1990-1998, 91,700 men were screened at their call-up visit; out of them 5,371 (7%) had asthma, but in 7.4% the disease had not been previously diagnosed. During the observation period there was a significant decrease of the level III severity of asthma, but about one quarter of the asthmatic subjects received no treatment at all. On the other hand, a significant increase in the prescription of inhaled steroids was observed. Conclusion: Despite educational efforts, a not negligible underdiagnosis and inadequate treatment of asthma in young adults still persist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Asthma
  • Underdiagnosis
  • Undertreatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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