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  • Respiratory
  • Sustainability

High SABA Use: A Sign of the Uncontrolled Asthma Patient?

Short-acting beta agonists have been a first-line treatment for asthma for over 50 years.1 However, a growing body of evidence including data from the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) has shown that SABA overuse, defined as 3 or more canisters per year,1 is linked with a higher risk of exacerbations, which are associated with increased risk of mortality.2

The SABINA (SABA use IN Asthma) programme aims to understand whether high SABA use is a global problem and whether this occurs in patients with asthma across all severity levels.3 In this talk, Professor Jenny Quint discusses data from the global SABINA study, covering the different phases of this extensive programme including SABINA I, SABINA II and SABINA III and thus, contextualising the use of SABA in the UK with that observed internationally. 

Prof Quint also discusses how high SABA use can impact the environment and the availability of a range of devices that would best suit different patients and help achieve improved sustainability.


1. National Institude for Healthcare and Excellence guidelines. November 2017. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng80/chapter/Recommendations#principles-of-pharmacological-treatment [Last accessed December 2021].
2. Royal College of Physicians. National Review of Asthma Deaths report. May 2014. Available at: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/why-asthma-still-kills [Last accessed December 2021].
3. Cabrera CS et al. SABINA: global programme to evaluate prescriptions and clinical outcomes related to short-acting β2-agonist use in asthma. Eur Respir J. 2020 Feb 12; 55(2): 1901858.

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Professor Jennifer Quint

Professor Quint is a Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute and Honorary Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton and Imperial College London NHS Foundation Trusts.

Professor Quint’s research interests centre on the use of electronic health records to study COPD as well as other chronic respiratory diseases including asthma, ILD and bronchiectasis. She leads a clinical epidemiology research group whose work centres largely on understanding the relationship between cardiovascular and respiratory disease as well as maximising the quality, linkage and usage of routinely collected data for clinical and research purposes. The majority of her work has been on exacerbations of COPD, exploring both the effect of COPD exacerbations on vascular outcomes and the relationship between environmental factors and exacerbations of COPD.