Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine

ISSN: 2161-105X

Open Access

Cost of Asthma in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)


Bassam H Mahboub, FatehRahman SMA Shendi, Basil Kh Safarini, Mostafa H AbdulAziz, Gamal M Mustafa and Vijayshree Prakash

Background and Objectives: Asthma is one of the chronic respiratory diseases affecting both genders and all ages across the globe. The treatment and control of asthma imposes significant economic burden on patients as well as the healthcare system. Patients also report absenteeism from school/work and poor quality of life. There are very few studies evaluating the cost of asthma in UAE. The objective of this study is to evaluate the cost of asthma in Dubai region of United Arab Emirates.

Material and Methods: Asthma prevalence and unit cost estimates were applied to the population of Dubai aged 5 years and above, based on the figures from the Dubai Statistic Center 2009 census. The asthma treatment profiles of the patients in Dubai as well as the days absent from school/work and quality of life data were obtained from the Asthma Insights and Reality for the Gulf and Near East (AIRGNE) study. The cost of drugs was procured from the purchase department of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and cost of out-patient visits as well as hospital stay and emergency visits was also provided by the DHA. The cost of asthma in this study is the direct cost of drugs, hospital stay and visits as out-patient and ER visits, along with supplementary costs in terms of days lost from work or school.

Results: The total direct cost of asthma in Dubai was about 88 million Dirhams (AED 87,917,202). The maximum contribution to this was from expenditure on out-patient visits (37% - AED 32,217,143), followed by that on hospital stays (23% - AED 23,587,008). The cost on medication and ER visits represented 20% and 16% of the direct cost respectively. Absenteeism from school was reported by 50% of asthmatic children, asthmatics also reported an average loss of 4 days of work per year due to asthma.

Conclusion: There is a huge economic burden on the patients and healthcare services due to asthma. Taking into account the considerable expenditure on the out-patient visits, ER visits and hospital stay, efforts must be directed towards improved asthma control and patient education about their disease.


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