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Table 2 Comparison algorithms used to capture COPD and asthma cases among the beneficiaries of the Regional Health Service. Lombardy, Italy

From: Can healthcare utilization data reliably capture cases of chronic respiratory diseases? a cross-sectional investigation in Italy

COPD Asthma
Permissive algorithm
 ≥40 years of age
And at least one of the following criteria a :
 ≥1 prescr/year of one of the following drugs:
 SABA, SAMA, LAMA, LABA, LABA/ICS, ICS
<40 years of age
And at least one of the following criteria a :
≥1 prescr/year of one of the following drugs:
SABA, LABA, LABA/ICS, ICS, chromones, anticholinergics, theophylline
≥1 prescr/year of anti-leukotrienes
and ≥1 prescr/year of any other drug for chronic respiratory diseases
≥1 prescr/year of oral steroids
and ≥1 prescr/year of any other drug for chronic respiratory diseases
Restrictive algorithm
 ≥40 years of age
And at least one of the following criteria a :
 ≥2 prescr/year of one of the following drugs:
 SABA, SAMA, LAMA, LABA, LABA/ICS, ICS
<40 years of age
And at least one of the following criteria a :
≥2 prescr/year of one of the following drugs:
SABA, LABA, LABA/ICS, ICS, chromones, anticholinergics, theophylline
≥2 prescr/year of anti-leukotrienes
and ≥2 prescr/year of any other drug for chronic respiratory diseases
≥2 prescr/year of oral steroids and ≥2 prescr/year of any other drug for chronic respiratory diseases
  1. To be recognized as affected by COPD/asthma, an individual must satisfy at least one of the listed criteria evaluated in 2010
  2. Abbreviations: prescr/year. prescription per year
  3. aThe specific ATC codes used to identify asthma and COPD cases are reported in Additional file 1: Table S1