[Costs due to asthma medical care in a group of children from northeastern Mexico]

Gabriela Gallardo Martínez, Alfredo Arias Cruz, Sandra Nora González Díaz, Gabriela Galindo Rodríguez
Revista Alergia Mexico: Organo Oficial de la Sociedad Mexicana de Alergia e Inmunología, A.C 2007, 54 (3): 82-5

BACKGROUND: In 1998 the economic burden of asthma in the United States was estimated in 12.7 billion dollars. In Mexico the annual direct costs for asthma could be approximately from 32 to 35 million dollars.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the healthcare costs in asthmatic children in the Northeast of Mexico.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed. We applied a questionnaire to the parents of 60 asthmatic children. They attended to a conference about asthma and allergy illnesses. In this questionnaire the parents answered some questions that provided us information about expenditures because of the treatment of their children with asthma during the last year.

RESULTS: Fifty-six questionnaires were answered correctly. The mean age of children was 10.8 +/- 2.5 years and 64.3% of them were males. The annual costs reported by patient were < or = 225 USD for medical consultation (76.8%) and < or = 134 USD for immunotherapy (81.6%). On the other hand, the costs for emergency department visits and hospitalization were < or = 45 USD and < or = 180 USD by each event respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The costs of asthma treatment in children are considerable and cause a huge impact in the family economy. It is necessary further research in bigger groups and doing comparative studies among different groups will help clarify the extent of the economic burden of asthma in Mexico.

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