Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis: Burden of disease
Even though there is no mortality associated with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (AR), there is significant morbidity in sufferers of this condition. The exact number of patients with AR is difficult to ascertain, with studies showing ranges from 9 to 42% of the population. Recently, the Allergies in America survey found that 14.2% of the adult U.S. population has been diagnosed with AR. It is well established that AR has a profound influence on the patient's quality of life. Not only do people with AR complain of rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, sneezing, itching, and associated eye problems disturbing, but they also have impaired emotional wellbeing and social functioning. Costs are a major burden in AR studies showing at least $6 billion/year. Although most attention related to costs in AR have been evaluating direct costs due to physician consultation and medical treatment, it is now clear that indirect costs are a major aspect of total costs in AR, especially for American businesses. Indirect costs include absenteeism from work or school because of illness and decreased productivity when at work or presenteeism. AR should be treated seriously by the medical community. Proper treatment of AR patients should not only greatly improve their quality of life, but also bring down health care costs, especially indirect ones, associated with this condition.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee
Publication date: 01 July 2007
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