Costs of asthma in Italy: Results of the SIRIO (Social Impact of Respiratory Integrated Outcomes) study.

Respir Med. 2007 Sep 4;
Dal Negro RW, Micheletto C, Tosatto R, Dionisi M, Turco P, Donner CF.
Divisione di Pneumologia, Ospedale Orlandi, Bussolengo (VR), Italy; CESFAR, Centro Studi Nazionale FISAR di Farmacoeconomia e Farmacoepidemiologia Respiratoria, Verona, Italy.

Bronchial asthma is a costly disease and the correlated social impact is ever increasing. The aim of the Social Impact of Respiratory Integrated Outcomes (SIRIO) study was to measure the health resources consumption and the costs generated in 1 year by asthmatic patients investigated in a real-life setting.

This bottom-up, observational, prospective, multicentric study was based on the collection of demographic, clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic and outcome data of 577 patients with bronchial asthma who reported spontaneously to the pneumology centers involved in the study. Of these, 485 patients (300 f, mean age 49.2 years+/-16.3 S.D.) were eligible for analysis. At the baseline visit, the asthma severity was as follows: 26.2% intermittent, 37.1% mild persistent, 29.5% moderate, and 6.6% severe. In the 12 months prior to enrollment, 243 patients (50.1%) had visited the general practitioner (GP); 349 (72%) consulted a National Health Service (NHS) specialist; 68 (14%) utilized Emergency Care; and 50 (10.3%) had been admitted to hospital on account of asthma, with a total of 2059 work days lost. At the end of the 1-year survey, asthma severity changed as follows: 32.8% intermittent, 38.1% mild persistent, 23.7% moderate, and 4.3% severe, with a substantial drop in corresponding outcomes: 39.6% visited their GP, 51.5% visited an NHS specialist, 5.2% used Emergency Care, and 4.3% were admitted to hospital. Compared to baseline, the total average cost per patient decreased globally by 17.9% (p<0.001) after the 1-year survey.

In conclusion, during the study period we observed a significant decline in health resources consumption and thus in asthma cost of illness, even though specific costs for the pharmaceutical treatment of asthma increased substantially. These results are likely due to a more strict control of patients and to their more appropriate clinical management.

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