FRIDAY, July 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The economic burden of uncontrolled asthma is considerable and is projected to continue increasing, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In an effort to predict the future excess health and economic burden associated with uncontrolled asthma from 2019 to 2038, Mohsen Yaghoubi, Ph.D., from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues built a probabilistic model that linked state-specific estimates of population growth and aging, asthma prevalence, and asthma control levels. Meta-analyses were conducted to estimate the adjusted differences in health care resource use, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and productivity loss across levels of control.

The researchers found that the total 20-year direct costs associated with uncontrolled asthma were estimated at $300.6 billion. The total economic burden was estimated to reach $963.5 billion when indirect costs were added. During this period, American adolescents and adults will lose an estimated 15.46 million QALYs due to uncontrolled asthma. The average 20-year per-capita costs due to uncontrolled asthma varied across states, from $2,209 to $6,132 in Arkansas and Connecticut, respectively.

“Our findings highlight the sizeable potential for cost saving and improvement in quality of life associated with better asthma control,” the authors write. “Research into improving adherence to existing medications should be put on an equal footing with investments in novel asthma therapies.”

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