[Economic cost of treating the patient with asthma in Spain: the AsmaCost study]

Eva Martínez-Moragón, Joan Serra-Batllés, Alfredo De Diego, Marta Palop, Pere Casan, Carlos Rubio-Terrés, Concepción Pellicer et al.
Archivos de Bronconeumología 2009, 45 (10): 481-6

OBJECTIVE: This analysis of the cost of asthma in Spain includes both direct health care costs and indirect costs arising from illness.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Prospective, 12-month observational cohort study of adult patients with asthma diagnosed according to the guidelines of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the adapted Spanish criteria (GEMA). We recorded information on health care resources utilized (medications, medical visits, emergency care, hospital admissions, and tests) and indirect costs (patient travel or transfer costs and workdays lost).

RESULTS: A total of 627 patients throughout Spain were studied. Of these, 21.2% had intermittent asthma, 24.6% mild asthma, 27.6% moderate asthma, and 26.6% severe asthma. The total societal cost of asthma (including indirect costs) was euro1726 (95% confidence interval [CI], euro1314-euro2154) per patient annually. Indirect costs accounted for 11.2% of the total. The cost to the National Health Service was euro1533 (95% CI, euro1133-euro1946) per patient annually. The cost of asthma was higher for patients older than 65 years (euro2079) and for those with more severe disease (euro959 for intermittent asthma; euro1598, mild asthma; euro1553, moderate asthma; and euro2635 severe asthma). Based on these findings, the total annual cost of asthma in Spain is estimated to be euro1480 million (95% CI, euro382-euro2565 million) for patients with demonstrated bronchial hyperreactivity and euro3022 million (95% CI, euro2472-euro3535 million) for patients diagnosed based on symptoms alone.

CONCLUSIONS: The average annual cost of asthma in adults in Spain comes to euro1726 per patient, considering both direct and indirect costs. The average annual cost per patient to the National Health Service is euro1533.

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