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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Stopping long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA) for adults with asthma well controlled by LABA and inhaled corticosteroids

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (92nd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (73rd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
19 X users
1 Facebook page
1 Wikipedia page


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138 Mendeley
Stopping long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA) for adults with asthma well controlled by LABA and inhaled corticosteroids
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011306.pub2
Pubmed ID

Shaleen Ahmad, Kayleigh M Kew, Rebecca Normansell


Poorly controlled asthma often leads to preventable exacerbations that require additional medications, as well as unscheduled hospital and clinic visits.Long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA) are commonly given to adults with asthma whose symptoms are not well controlled by inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). US and UK regulators have issued warnings for LABA in asthma, and now recommend they be used "for the shortest duration of time required to achieve control of asthma symptoms and discontinued, if possible, once asthma control is achieved". To compare cessation of long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA) versus continued use of LABA/inhaled corticosteroids (LABA/ICS) for adults whose asthma is well controlled, and to determine whether stopping LABA:1. results in loss of asthma control or deterioration in quality of life;2. increases the likelihood of asthma attacks or 'exacerbations'; or3. increases or decreases the likelihood of serious adverse events of any cause. We searched the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register (CAGR), www.ClinicalTrials.gov, www.who.int/ictrp/en/, reference lists of primary studies and existing reviews and manufacturers' trial registries (GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca). We searched all databases from their inception to April 2015, and we imposed no restriction on language of publication. We looked for parallel randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of at least eight weeks' duration, in which adults whose asthma was well controlled by any dose of ICS+LABA combination therapy were randomly assigned to (1) step-down therapy to ICS alone versus (2) continuation of ICS and LABA. Two review authors independently screened all records identified by the search strategy. We used an Excel extraction tool to manage searches, document reasons for inclusion and exclusion and extract descriptive and numerical data from trials meeting inclusion criteria.Prespecified primary outcomes were (1) exacerbations requiring oral steroids, (2) asthma control and (3) all-cause serious adverse events. Six randomised, double-blind studies between 12 and 24 weeks' long met the inclusion criteria. Five studies contributed data to the meta-analysis, assigning 2781 people with stable asthma to the comparison of interest. The definition of stable asthma and inclusion criteria varied across studies, and Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) criteria were not used. Risk of bias across studies was generally low, and most evidence was rated as moderate quality.Stopping LABA might increase the number of people having exacerbations and requiring oral corticosteroids (odds ratio (OR) 1.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83 to 3.65; participants = 1257; studies = 4), although the confidence intervals did not exclude the possibility that stopping LABA was beneficial; over 17 weeks, 19 people per 1000 who continued their LABA had an exacerbation, compared with 32 per 1000 when LABA were stopped (13 more per 1000, 95% CI 3 fewer to 46 more).People who stopped LABA had worse scores on the Asthma Control Questionnaire (mean difference (MD) 0.24, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.35; participants = 645; studies = 3) and on measures of asthma-related quality of life (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.36, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.57; participants = 359; studies = 2) than those who continued LABA, but the effects were not clinically relevant.Too few events occurred for investigators to tell whether stopping LABA has a greater effect on serious adverse events compared with continuing LABA+ICS (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.28 to 2.42; participants = 1342; studies = 5), and no study reported exacerbations requiring an emergency department visit or hospitalisation as a separate outcome. Stopping LABA may result in fewer adverse events of any kind compared with continuing, although the effect was not statistically significant (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.05; participants = 1339; studies = 5), and stopping LABA made people more likely to withdraw from participation in research studies (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.47 to 2.58; participants = 1352; studies = 5). This review suggests that stopping LABA in adults who have stable asthma while they are taking a combination of LABA and ICS inhalers may increase the likelihood of asthma exacerbations that require treatment with oral corticosteroids, but this is not certain. Stopping LABA may slightly reduce asthma control and quality of life, but evidence was insufficient to show whether this had an effect on important outcomes such as serious adverse events and exacerbations requiring hospital admission, and longer trials are warranted. Trialists should include patient-important outcomes such as asthma control and quality of life and should use validated measurement tools. Definitions of exacerbations should be provided.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 19 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 138 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 137 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 16 12%
Student > Bachelor 16 12%
Other 10 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 6%
Researcher 6 4%
Other 21 15%
Unknown 61 44%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 34 25%
Nursing and Health Professions 19 14%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 4%
Psychology 6 4%
Social Sciences 4 3%
Other 6 4%
Unknown 63 46%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 28 November 2018.
All research outputs
of 22,813,792 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,317 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 264,785 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 281 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,813,792 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,317 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.4. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 264,785 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 281 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its contemporaries.