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The Economic Burden of Food Allergic Patients Managing at a Tertiary Care Center
Saturday, March 5, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Narissara Suratannon, MD, Panida Swangsak, Jarungchit Ngamphaiboon, MD, Pantipa Chatchatee, MD
Rationale: Food allergy is a substantial burden for patients and families by negatively affecting finances, social relationships, and quality of life. We aimed to estimate the economic burden of food allergy in patients managed in a tertiary care center.

Methods: Retrospective chart reviews and questionnaires were done in food-allergic children at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand 

Results: Fifty food allergic children were enrolled. Seventy-eight percent were male. Mean age was 5.3 +/- 3.2 years. Thirty-two percent had multiple food allergies. Overall cost was 1,953 US dollar per person per year. Direct medical cost was 1,112 US dollar per person per year and direct non-medical cost was 841 US dollar per person per year. Direct medical cost can be divided into in-patient visit 62 %, unscheduled out-patient visit 9.4 %, office visit 17.4 % and emergency room visit 9.4%. The high cost for unscheduled out-patient visit and emergency room visit reflected the accidental exposure and acute food reaction in the studied population. 

Conclusions: Food allergy is a burden on healthcare resources as shown by this study. The high cost of unscheduled out-patient visit and emergency room visit can be reduced by patient education and proper allergen avoidance.