Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease (소아알레르기 호흡기학회지)
PURPOSE: The prevalence of allergic rhinitis is rapidly increasing and results in relatively high socio-economic burden on their family and community. However, studies on the economic burden of pediatric allergic rhinitis in Korea are limited. Therefore, we conducted this study to investigate the impact of pediatric allergic rhinitis on economic burden. METHODS: Two hundred sixty two children with allergic rhinitis were enrolled in 6 secondary or tertiary medical centers in Seoul from July to September, 2008. We collected data of the economic burden of allergic rhinitis (direct medical costs, direct nonmedical costs, and indirect costs) by face to face questionnaire survey. We compared the economic burden according to the severity and the duration of allergic rhinitis. RESULTS: The mean age of subjects was 6.54 years, and male were 174 (66.4%). Direct medical costs (10,000 Korean Won/yr) were 177.75, and direct nonmedical costs were 57.92. Although, there was no statistical significance, direct medical costs showed increasing trends in severe allergic rhinitis.(P=0.053) In addition, direct medical costs were positively correlated with duration of allergic rhinitis.(R=0.195, P=0.002). About 17% of the parents who care the allergic rhinitis children experienced the work absence due to their child's illness. CONCLUSION: The economic burdens of allergic rhinitis were positively correlated with the severity and duration of illness. Particularly costs for alternative medicine including oriental medicine were related with severity and duration allergic rhinitis. Therefore, special efforts for education with evidence based treatment strategy are necessary to decrease the economic burden of allergic rhinitis.