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To evaluate the direct costs of treating asthma in Kuwait. Population figures were obtained from the 2005 census and projected to 2008. Treatment profiles were obtained from the Asthma Insights and Reality for the Gulf and Near East (AIRGNE) study. Asthma prevalence and unit cost estimates were based on results from a Delphi technique. These estimates were applied to the total Kuwaiti population aged 5 years and over to obtain the number of people diagnosed with asthma. The estimates from the Delphi exercise and the AIRGNE results were used to determine the number of asthma patients managed in government facilities. Direct drug costs were provided by the Ministry of Health. Treatment costs (Kuwaiti dinars, KD) were also calculated using the Delphi exercise and the AIRGNE data. The prevalence of asthma was estimated to be 15% of adults and 18% of children (93,923 adults; 70,158 children). Of these, 84,530 (90%) adults and 58,932 (84.0%) children were estimated to be using government healthcare facilities. Inpatient visits accounted for the largest portion of total direct costs (43%), followed by emergency room visits (29%), outpatient visits (21%) and medications (7%). The annual cost of treatment, excluding medications, was KD 29,946,776 (USD 107,076,063) for adults and KD 24,295,439 (USD 86,869,450) for children. Including medications, the total annual direct cost of asthma treatment was estimated to be over KD 58 million (USD 207 million). Asthma costs Kuwait a huge sum of money, though the estimates were conservative because only Kuwaiti nationals were included. Given the high medical expenditures associated with emergency room and inpatient visits, relative to lower medication costs, efforts should be focused on improving asthma control rather than reducing expenditure on procurement of medication. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Mousa Khadadah. The cost of asthma in Kuwait. Medical principles and practice : international journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre. 2013;22(1):87-91

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PMID: 22889866

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