Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Assessing symptoms and peak expiratory flow rate as predictors of asthma exacerbations.

Tierney WM, Roesner JF, Seshadri R, Lykens MG, Murray MD, Weinberger M. Assessing symptoms and peak expiratory flow rate as predictors of asthma exacerbations. Journal of general internal medicine. 2004 Mar 1; 19(3):237-42.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: To investigate peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and quality of life scores for their ability to predict exacerbations of asthma. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: We identified adults who received oral or inhaled asthma medications from 36 community drugstores. We administered the McMaster Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) and measured PEFR, defining "red zone" (highest risk) as a PEFR < 50% of each patient's expected value based on gender, age, and height. We identified asthma exacerbations (breathing-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations) within 4 and 12 months after enrollment and used proportional hazards regression to assess the ability of PEFR and AQLQ scores to predict exacerbations, controlling for clinical and demographic factors. RESULTS: A red zone PEFR was a significant univariable predictor of exacerbations within 12 months (hazard ratio [HR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 3.0; P = .027). However, neither a red zone PEFR, the raw PEFR, or percent of predicted maximal PEFR were significantly predictive when controlling for AQLQ scores, clinical characteristics, or demographic data (P > .2). However, the 4 subscales of the AQLQ were each significant univariable and multivariable predictors of asthma exacerbations. For example, the overall AQLQ scale had a multivariable HR of 0.63 (95% CI, 0.46 to 0.87; P = .005) for exacerbations occurring within 4 months and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.54 to 0.82; P < .001) within 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: PEFR added no predictive information to that contained in AQLQ scores and clinical and demographic data. These results support the National Institutes of Health asthma guidelines' recommendation for routinely assessing symptoms but not PEFR.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.