Allergy immunotherapy shots cut US healthcare costs significantly.

Allergic rhinitis is the third most common chronic disease in American children, affecting up to 40% of children. If not properly treated, it can seriously affect a child’s quality of life and lead to other health problems. Allergic rhinitis is responsible for 2 million missed school days each year and $2.3 million in direct health care expenses for children under age 12.

In a recent study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, researchers compared health care expenses for a group of 2,771 children under 18 who received allergen immunotherapy, with 11,010 children who did not get the shots. They looked at records for a 10-year period beginning in 1997. All the children in the study had newly diagnosed allergic rhinitis. The median health care costs per patient during an 18-month period for the children with the shots was $3,247, compared to $4,872 for the non-shot group. Pharmacy costs were $1,108 for the shot group, compared to $1,316 for the non-shot group.

The difference in health care costs was evident within three months and lasted throughout the decade-long study period.

Hankin, C., Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, January 2010; vol 104: pp 79-85.


More research into rhinitis

First Published January 2010

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