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Estimated Cost of Asthma in Outpatient Treatment: a Real-World Study

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Costa, E., Caetano, R., Werneck, G., Bregman, M., Araújo, D., & Rufino, R. (2018). Estimated cost of asthma in outpatient treatment: a real-world study. Revista De Saúde Pública, 52, 27. https://doi.org/10.11606/S1518-8787.2018052000153

To estimate the cost of diagnosis and treatment of asthma.

We used the perspective of society. We sequentially included for 12 months, in 2011-2012, 117 individuals over five years of age who were treated for asthma in the Pneumology and Allergy-Immunology Services of the Piquet Carneiro Polyclinic, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. All of them were interviewed twice with a six-month interval for data collection, covering 12 months. The cost units were identified and valued according to defined methods. We carried out a sensitivity analysis and applied statistical methods with a significance level of 5% for cost comparisons between subgroups.

The study consisted of 108 patients, and 73.8% of them were women. Median age was 49.5 years. Rhinitis was present in 83.3% of the individuals, and more than half were overweight or obese. Mean family income was U$915.90/month (SD = 879.12). Most workers and students had absenteeism related to asthma. Total annual mean cost was U$1,291.20/patient (SD = 1,298.57). The cost related to isolated asthma was U$1,155.43/patient-year (SD = 1,305.58). Obese, severe, and uncontrolled asthmatic patients had higher costs than non-obese, non-severe, and controlled asthmatics, respectively. Severity and control level were independently associated with higher cost (p = 0.001 and 0.000, respectively). The direct cost accounted for 82.3% of the estimated total cost. The cost of medications for asthma accounted for 62.2% of the direct costs of asthma.

Asthma medications, environmental control measures, and long-term health leaves had the greatest potential impact on total cost variation. The results are an estimate of the cost of treating asthma at a secondary level in the Brazilian Unified Health System, assuming that the treatment used represents the ideal approach to the disease.

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