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Cost of asthma in the Asia-Pacific region

European Respiratory Review. 2006;15(98):10-16


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: European Respiratory Review

ISSN: 0905-9180 (Print); 1600-0617 (Online)

Publisher: European Respiratory Society

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Specialties of internal medicine: Diseases of the respiratory system

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



C. K. W. Lai

Y-Y. Kim

S-H. Kuo

M. Spencer

A. E. Williams

Asthma Insights and Reality in Asia Pacific Steering Committee


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The substantial morbidity caused by asthma suggests that the disease is associated with a large economic burden. The current study analysed the burden of asthma in eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Responses to questions regarding resource use from a survey of people with asthma were analysed. Unit costs were obtained for each resource use element. Individual patient costs were estimated and means calculated for each country. A multivariate model was developed to identify potential predictors of resource use. Annual per-patient direct costs ranged from US$108 for Malaysia to US$1,010 for Hong Kong. When productivity costs were included, total per-patient societal costs ranged from US$184 in Vietnam to US$1,189 in Hong Kong. Urgent care costs were responsible for 18–90% of total per-patient direct costs. Overall, total per-patient direct costs were equivalent to 13% of per capita gross domestic product and 300% of per capita healthcare spending. Extremes of age, greater severity of asthma, and poorer general health status were predictive of high cost. The per-patient cost of asthma in these countries is high, particularly when seen in the context of overall per-patient healthcare spending. Strategies to improve asthma control are likely to not only improve patient outcomes, but also to decrease societal costs.