Rev Esp Salud Publica. 2017 Mar 9;91. pii: e201703025.
[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]
BACKGROUND: Asthma is responsible for a large number of doctor and emergency visits due to exacerbations and inadequate control of the disease, which give rise to very high associated economic costs. The social cost of asthma comprises both the healthcare and non-healthcare costs. The purpose of this study was to analyse up-to-date estimates of the social cost of asthma, with special reference to the influence of level of severity and degree of control.
METHODS: A systematic review of original cost-of-illness studies of asthma published in English or Spanish between January 2004 and December 2014 and indexed in PubMed, IBECS or IME was conducted.
RESULTS: 29 cost-of-illness studies of asthma were identified, 21 of which used the societal perspective. Only 10 studies estimated the incremental cost of asthma with a control group, and none of them refers to EU countries. Of these 10, only 4 were regarded as high-quality evidence, insofar as they combined a matched control with regression models. The annual incremental cost of asthma in adults ranged from €416 to €5,317. The incremental healthcare cost of asthma increased with level of severity, from €964 for intermittent asthma to €11,703 for severe persistent asthma in adults. In adults, the incremental non-healthcare cost of asthma ranged from €136 to €3,461.
CONCLUSIONS: Selected studies in this review show great heterogeneity due to different population characteristics, study designs and valuation methods, which limits their comparability. However, it can be concluded that incremental healthcare costs of asthma, compared to people without asthma, exceeds seven hundred Euros (valued in 2013) in most of the reviwed estimation for several countries. This figure is greater for studies from the United States. The incremental cost per patient increases very rapidly with level of severity and decreases with asthma patient control.
KEYWORDS: Asthma; Bronchial Asthma; Canada; Chronic Disease; Cost of illness; Economics, Medical; European Union; Health Expenditures; Healthcare costs; Socioeconomic Factors; Spain; United States