Are YOU a sufferer? New data from the CDC shows asthma is costing the U.S. $80 billion every year

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma costs the U.S. economy more than $80 billion each year “in medical expenses, missed work, and school days and deaths.”

CDC researchers studied data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for The Economic Burden of Asthma in the United States, 2008-2013, “the most comprehensive source of data on health care use, expenditures, payment source and health insurance coverage in the U.S.” to determine the specifics of this billion-dollar health concern that’s draining the country’s resources.

Dr. Tursynbek Nurmagambetov, lead author and health economist at the CDC, said the cost associated with asthma is “one of the most important measures of the burden of the disease.” Nurmagambetov added that cost studies like this can significantly impact health policy decisions and that it can let decision makers see “the scale, seriousness, and implications of asthma.” He also emphasized that the findings of the study can make it easier to identify resources so disease management can be improved and that “the burden of asthma” can be reduced.

A total of 213,994 respondents took part in the survey over a six-year period, and the study identified 10,237 people with “treated asthma.” The CDC researchers defined treated asthma as “having at least one medical encounter for asthma or having a prescription for at least one asthma medicine filled during a calendar year.” They approximated average annual numbers and costs for the U.S. population using the pooled sample. (Related: Asthma explained by common allergy to milk and dairy products.)

As per the 2008 to 2013 pooled sample for the survey, the study estimated that at least 15.4 million people in the U.S. had treated asthma annually. The total annual cost of asthma in the U.S. (including “medical care, absenteeism, and mortality”) was $81.9 billion.

The annual per-person medical cost of asthma was $3,266. Prescriptions cost $1,830, office visits were $640, hospitalizations were $529, hospital outpatient visits were $176, and emergency room care was at $105.

Asthma-related mortality amounted to $29 billion per year, and this represented an average of 3,168 deaths. The combined cost of missed work and school days was $3 billion per year. This means a whopping 8.7 million workdays and 5.2 million school days were lost due to asthma every year. People with no health insurance had significantly lower per person total medical expenditure for asthma compared to insured people.

It’s possible that the study miscalculated the total cost of asthma to the U.S. economy since their analysis did not take into account individuals who have asthma but remained untreated, adds the authors. Non-medical costs linked to asthma such as transportation expenses, lost time incurred while waiting for appointments, and a decline in productivity “while functioning at work or school with asthma” were also not included in the study.

Dr. Nurmagambetov warns that the paper’s findings point to the need to reinforce “asthma control strategies.” In 1999, the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program was founded to help reduce the burden of asthma in the country. Dr. Nurmagambetov concluded that maintaining ” guidelines-based care, expand self-management education, and reduce environmental asthma triggers” in homes can help minimize asthma-related visits to the ER, hospitalizations, absences, and mortality.

Natural remedies for asthma

If you are interested in natural remedies for asthma, try some of the suggestions listed below:

  • Eucalyptus oil – Pure eucalyptus oil can help treat asthma symptoms because of its decongestant properties. It contains a chemical called eucalyptol which can help break up mucus.
  • Figs – Figs promote respiratory health, help drain phlegm, and they can alleviate breathing difficulties.
  • Ginger – Research has proven that ginger can help reduce airway inflammation and inhibit airway contraction. Ginger also has compounds that can enhance the muscle relaxant effects of certain asthma drugs.
  • Mustard oil – Massaging an individual who is having an asthma attack with mustard oil can help clear the respiratory passages and restore normal breathing.

You can read more articles about herbs and other natural cures at

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