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Asthma control in Australia: a cross-sectional web-based survey in a nationally representative population

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in Australia, affecting 10% of the population1 and is a National Health Priority Area. Despite this, there is a widespread perception that it is no longer a problem in Australia, especially as asthma mortality has fallen by 70% from its peak in the 1980s. Asthma mortality in this country nevertheless remains high by international comparisons, particularly in young people (those aged 5–34 years).1 Further, asthma was the seventh-highest cause of years lived with disability in Australasia in 2010.2

Since 1989, Australia has taken a lead in developing and updating clinical practice guidelines for asthma. In March 2014, the new national guidelines3 were launched, and effective asthma control was affirmed as the key goal of treatment. Consistent with international recommendations,4,5 two domains of asthma control are now assessed: symptom control and the future risk of adverse outcomes, such as flare-ups (exacerbations). Asthma control is also one of the recommended National Asthma Indicators for monitoring asthma in Australia.6

To improve clinical practice and asthma policy, reliable population-based data on asthma control in Australia…