To estimate the societal costs of asthma, COPD and respiratory allergy for the year 2007 and future healthcare costs for the period 2007-2032.
Representative registries were used to estimate the healthcare costs of asthma, COPD and respiratory allergy for the year 2007. A simulation model for asthma and COPD and a demographic projection for respiratory allergy were used to determine future healthcare costs. Production losses due to sick leave and work incapacity were calculated using the friction-cost method.
Total healthcare costs for asthma, COPD and respiratory allergy in 2007 were estimated at 287, 415 and 103 million euros respectively; on average 530, 1400 and 170 euros per patient with asthma, COPD and respiratory allergy. Average costs of sick leave for asthma were on average 1200 euros and for COPD 1900 euros per employee per year. The costs of work incapacity of an employee with COPD were 1200 euros. There is expected to be an increase in the number of patients from 443,000 in 2007 to 567,000 in 2032 for asthma and from 335,000 to 600,000 for COPD. The number of patients with a respiratory allergy are expected to remain approximately stable at 625,000 patients. The healthcare costs for respiratory allergy are expected to rise by 73%, those for asthma to double, and those for COPD to triple.
Patients with asthma and COPD have high healthcare costs. Sick leave makes up a large part of the costs of asthma and COPD. In addition, the costs of work incapacity for employees with COPD are high. The number of patients with asthma and COPD will rise in the coming decades, as well as the healthcare costs for these diseases.
Conflict of interest and financial support: this study was commissioned and financially supported by the Dutch Lung Fund (Longfonds). Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available along with the full text of this article at www.ntvg.nl, search for A6562; click on ‘Belangenverstrengeling’ (‘Conflict of interest’).