Substantial Increase in Costs for Uncontrolled Asthma

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Substantial Increase in Costs for Uncontrolled Asthma
Substantial Increase in Costs for Uncontrolled Asthma

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of patients with mild to moderate asthma are symptomatically uncontrolled, and uncontrolled asthma is associated with significantly increased costs, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in Allergy.

Mohsen Sadatsafavi, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues estimated the savings in direct costs that result from achieving asthma symptom control as defined in the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 2014 management strategy. Asthma control per GINA and use of health care resources were assessed at baseline and up to one year among 517 adolescents and adults with mostly mild to moderate asthma (2,033 follow-up visits). Costs associated with symptom control were modeled, with adjustment for potential confounding variables.

The researchers found that asthma was symptomatically controlled, partially controlled, and uncontrolled in 29.4, 39.8, and 30.8 percent of visits, respectively. The average costs for asthma were $134.50 for three months, with 20.5, 47.8, and 31.5 percent, respectively, attributed to inpatient care, outpatient care, and medication. Partially controlled asthma correlated with a nonsignificant $9.50 increase in adjusted three-month costs, while there was a statistically significant increase of $81.70 in costs for uncontrolled asthma compared with controlled asthma.

"The adjusted values from this study can be used to inform cost-effectiveness analyses of asthma treatments," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which partially funded the study.

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