The main outcome of this study was the prevalence of SABA overuse/increased use and assessment of its association with different factors. Based on GINA, SABA overuse was defined as ≥ 3 prescribed inhalers (~ 200 puffs each) during the study period. The term “overuse” was appropriated from the GINA report; however, it should be noted that in GINA step 5, the use of ≥ 3 prescribed inhalers is considered as increased use but not overuse. The prevalence of SABA overuse was estimated as the proportion of patients receiving ≥ 3 prescribed inhalers out of all patients with asthma included in the study. The prevalence was calculated for the total number of patients as well as stratified by age group, sex, GINA step, physician specialty, ICS with/without LABA (EphMRA ATC: R03A3, R03D1, R03F1) use, defined comorbidities (upper respiratory infections, diabetes mellitus, thyroid gland disorders, hypertension, lipid metabolism disorders, depression), co-therapies which are known to be associated with an increased risk for bronchospasm (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [ATC: M01A], aspirin [ATC: B01C1], and angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors [ATC: C09A, C09B]) [1820]. Moreover, the associations of these variables with SABA overuse were investigated.

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