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Health care burden and treatment patterns in commercially insured children with chronic idiopathic/spontaneous urticaria: A real-world study in the United States

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Chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)/spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is defined by the presence of wheals, angioedema, or both for ≥6 weeks, with or without an identifiable trigger. Real-world health care data among children with CIU/CSU remain scarce.


To describe treatment patterns, health care resource utilization (HRU), and costs in pediatric patients with CIU/CSU (<12 years old) and to compare these with pediatric patients without CIU/CSU.


A commercial administrative claims data base (September 2013 to June 2016) was used. The CIU/CSU cohort included pediatric patients with either two or more claims for a diagnosis of urticaria ≥6 weeks apart or one or more claims for a diagnosis of urticaria and one or more claims for a diagnosis of angioedema ≥6 weeks apart (index was defined as the first claim). The control cohort comprised pediatric patients without urticaria or angioedema (index randomly assigned). Patients with <6 months of eligibility before and after the index date were excluded. HRU and costs were compared between the cohorts during the observation period after propensity score matching.


A total of 6109 pediatric patients with CIU/CSU were selected, and 6107 were 1:1 matched with controls. The patients with CIU/CSU who had a mean ± standard deviation age of 4.58 ± 3.36 years, and 47.9% were girls. CIU/CSU-related medication use increased after diagnosis (e.g., baseline versus 6-month follow-up, 2.2 versus 8.0% for nonsedating prescription H1 antihistamines; 7.4 versus 17.4% for oral corticosteroids). Relative to the controls, the patients with CIU/CSU had higher rates of HRU (incidence rate ratios of 1.71, 2.39, and 2.07 for inpatient, emergency department, and outpatient visits, respectively; all p < 0.01), and higher all-cause per patient per year costs (mean cost differences of $2090, $1606, and $483 for total, medical, and pharmacy costs, respectively; all p < 0.01).


This study highlighted unmet needs in pediatric patients with CIU/CSU who had increased medication (e.g., oral corticosteroids) and HRU burden after a diagnosis for CIU/CSU, and higher rates of HRU and costs relative to those without CIU/CSU.
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Keywords: Chronic idiopathic or spontaneous urticaria; burden; children; comorbidities; costs; health care resource utilization; medical specialist; pediatric; treatment patterns

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center, Everett, Washington 2: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, New York 3: Analysis Group, Inc., Montréal, Quebec, Canada 4: Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerl 5: Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

Publication date: May 1, 2018

This article was made available online on March 7, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Health care burden and treatment patterns in commercially insured children with chronic idiopathic/spontaneous urticaria: A real-world study in the United States ".

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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