Pediatric Asthma Costs Over $5 Billion Per Year In Health Care Expenses Interview with:

Patrick W. Sullivan, Ph.D. Professor Regis University School of Pharmacy Denver, CO 80221

Dr. Sullivan

Patrick W. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Regis University School of Pharmacy
Denver, CO 80221 What is the background for this study?

Response: Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders among children. It affects 7.1 million children in the U.S. Of these, 4.1 million children suffered an asthma attack in 2011. An asthma attack is an acute period of extreme difficulty breathing. It can be life threatening and is always very frightening for children. Because asthma can be dangerous and frightening, it ends up costing a lot because patients need to go the doctor, hospital or take medications to try to control it.

Asthma also has a negative effect on the patient’s health and outlook about their health – both mentally and physically. Previous studies have focused on adults with asthma and have found that it is very expensive – it costs $18 billion in the U.S. to manage adults with asthma. Those studies also showed that adults with asthma have lower quality of life. However, there is not a lot of good evidence on the burden of asthma in children. This study was designed to quantify the cost and mental and physical health of children with asthma in the U.S. What are the main findings?

Response: This study documented that children with asthma end up going to the Emergency Room, hospital and doctor’s office more often than children who don’t have asthma. They also use more prescription medications and cost a lot more – $5.2 billion was spent on children with asthma in the U.S. per year. The study also found that children with asthma were more likely to have poor health, to worry about their health and to be classified as having “special healthcare needs”. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Asthma is very burdensome to the children who have it and to the greater society. It is very important that doctors and other healthcare professionals treat children with asthma with greater attention. With more aggressive treatment and asthma management programs, we may be able to reduce the burden of asthma on children and society. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should examine what factors lead to asthma attacks and how doctors and healthcare professional can work with families to make sure that children with asthma are able to control their symptoms.

This research was funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


The National Burden of Asthma in Children in the U.S.: Results from a Nationally Representative Study
Prof Patrick W. Sullivan, PhD,Prof Vahram Ghushchyan, PhD
,Dr Prakash Navaratnam, PhD,Prof Howard Friedman, PhD,Dr Abhishek Kavati, PhD,Dr Pin Xiang, PhD,Dr Benjamin Ortiz, MD,Dr Bobby Q. Lanier, MD, FAAAAI

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.
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Last Updated on March 8, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD