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Respir Med. 2000 Mar;94(3):247-55.

The economic impact of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Sweden in 1980 and 1991.

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Department of Community Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.


This study was carried out to estimate the direct and indirect costs associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Sweden in 1980 and 1991, and to identify trends in the use of outpatient care, drugs and inpatient care, and the development of temporary morbidity, permanent disability and mortality for asthma and COPD. Routinely published administrative and population data were used to estimate the costs of asthma and COPD, and these figures were compared to corresponding estimates and trends for all respiratory diseases as well as for all diseases. Asthma and COPD each accounted for about SEK 3 billion, together roughly 2% of the economic cost of all diseases. Although the total costs associated with each disease were similar, the distribution of the different cost components and changes in each component over time differed. During the 1980s, the cost of drugs and out-patient care increased for both diseases. The cost of inpatient care for asthma decreased, whereas that for COPD increased. This study shows that asthma therapy has changed from inpatient to ambulatory care in Sweden, while the treatment of COPD to a higher degree still is based on inpatient care.

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