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Int J Dermatol. 2006 Jan;45(1):31-6.

Burden of Atopic dermatitis in Canada.

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Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Dorval, Quebec.



Atopic dermatitis (AD) is relatively common worldwide; costs associated with the disease have been reported recently for various countries, but no estimates of costs in Canada are currently available. The objective of this study was to estimate the costs associated with AD in Canada, assessed from resource use determined for a Canadian setting.


Seventy-six patients in Ontario with AD were surveyed to determine information about severity of disease, healthcare practitioner visits, over-the-counter medication use, household expenses and absenteeism relating to their condition. Based on this information, costs were determined based on the Ontario billing schedule, estimated prescription use, reported out-of-pocket expenses and stated family income. Data about sleep disturbance and concern over topical corticosteroid use were also obtained.


Patients reported an average of 3.6 publicly funded doctor visits per year for AD; 58% of these visits were to general practitioners and 28% to dermatologists. The annual per patient expenditure was estimated to be 282, 454 Canadian dollars and 1242 Canadian dollars for patients with mild, moderate and severe AD, respectively. The total cost of AD in Canada was estimated to be 1.4 billion Canadian dollars annually. More than half of the patients experienced sleep disturbances owing to their condition, and 71% reported having concerns about topical corticosteroid use.


Although the cost per patient of AD in Canada is relatively low, owing to the prevalence of the disease, the total cost to society is large. Most of the cost is borne by patients and their employers, primarily owing to indirect costs associated with absenteeism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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