Background: Allergic rhinitis is one of most prevalent chronic diseases and results in relatively high medical expenses and economic burden; however, in Korea, studies on economic costs are limited. Therefore, this study investigated the health care use and socioeconomic costs of allergic rhinitis in Korea. Methods: This study extracted the insurance claims records from the Korea National Health Insurance Corporation (NHIC) claims database for determining the health care services provided to patients with allergic rhinitis in 2007. The total allergic rhinitis - related cost was the sum of the direct medical care costs, the direct nonmedical care costs, and the indirect cost. The direct medical care consists of the costs paid by insurers and patients, the noncovered service costs, the prescribed drug costs, and the over-the-counter drug costs. Results: A total of 4,068,517 people were identified as having allergic rhinitis, yielding a prevalence of 8.4%. The prevalence for children <20 years of age was 13.5% and higher than that of adults. Especially the prevalence of preschool children was higher. The total direct cost was $223.68 million and the lost productivity was estimated to be $49.25 million. Therefore, we approximated the economic burden of allergic rhinitis to be $272.92 million. Conclusion: Allergic rhinitis was a frequently occurring disease in the NHIC Claims database and the economic burden has been estimated to be almost $272.92 million. Although this study has some limitations, it is the first study of economic burden in allergic rhinitis representing the entire Korean population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy