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P218 The epidemiological, healthcare and societal burden and costs of asthma in the UK and member nations: analyses of national databases
  1. M Mukherjee1,
  2. A Stoddart1,
  3. R Gupta2,
  4. B Nwaru3,
  5. M Heaven4,
  6. A Farr5,
  7. D Fitzsimmons5,
  8. A Bandyopadhyay4,
  9. C Aftab6,
  10. C Simpson3,
  11. R Lyons4,
  12. C Fischbacher7,
  13. C Dibben8,
  14. M Shields9,
  15. C Phillips5,
  16. D Strachan2,
  17. G Davies10,
  18. B McKinstry1,
  19. A Sheikh3
  1. 1Edinburgh Health Services Research Unit, Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Population Health Research Institute, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, London, UK
  3. 3Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4Farr Institute, College of Medicine, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, UK
  5. 5Swansea Centre for Health Economics (SCHE), College of Human and Health Science, 2nd Floor Vivian Tower, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, UK
  6. 6The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh & the University of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, UK
  7. 7Information Services Division (ISD), NHS National Services Scotland, Room 111, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, UK
  8. 8School of Geography & Geosciences, Department of Geography & Sustainable Development, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  9. 9Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences Building, Queen’s University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, UK
  10. 10Asthma & Allergy Group, Institute of Life Science, Swansea University Medical School, Singleton Park, Swansea, UK


Background Developing a comprehensive picture of the burden of asthma in the UK will enable informed national decisions about care provision and planning. We sought to provide the first UK-wide estimates of the epidemiology, healthcare utilisation and costs of asthma.

Methods We undertook analyses of national health surveys, routine healthcare and administrative datasets over the period 2010–12. Economic modelling was carried out to estimate costs. Estimates were calculated for each nation and the UK as a whole.

Results The UK lifetime prevalence of patient-reported symptoms suggestive of asthma in 2010–11 was 30.7% (95% Confidence Intervals [CI] 29.2–32.2; equivalent to [~] 18,949,516 people), lifetime prevalence of patient-reported physician-diagnosed asthma was 15.9% (95% CI 14.7–17.1; ~10,841,030 people), annual prevalence of patient-reported physician-diagnosed-and-treated asthma was 9.1% (95% CI 8.0–10.2; ~5,765,237 people), annual prevalence of GP reported-and-diagnosed asthma was 8.2% (95% CI 8.2–8.2; ~5,215,607 people) and annual prevalence of GP reported-and-diagnosed-and-treated asthma was 6.0% (95% CI 6.0–6.0; ~3,946,796 people). In 2011–12, asthma resulted in an estimated: 6,392,670 primary-care consultations; 93,916 inpatient-care episodes; 1,864 (317 paediatric and 1,547 adult) intensive-care unit episodes; 36,800 disability living allowance (DLA) claims; and 1,160 deaths. The estimated cost of asthma in the UK was at least £1.1billion in 2011–12: 75% of this was for primary-care (60% prescribing and 15% consultations), 13% for DLA claims, and 10% for hospital care.

Conclusions We found that asthma is very common, affecting at least 3.95 million people, and that it is responsible for substantial morbidity, healthcare and societal costs in the UK. Setting ambitious targets for improving asthma outcomes is paramount and resources should be targeted to improving community-based prescribing decisions and reducing the risk of asthma exacerbations and associated hospitalisations and deaths.

Funding Asthma UK, with additional support from the Edinburgh Health Services Research Unit and Farr Institute, UK.

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