Burden of respiratory disease in Korea: An observational study on allergic rhinitis, asthma, COPD, and rhinosinusitis

Kwang Ha Yoo, Hae Ryun Ahn, Jae Kyoung Park, Jong Woong Kim, Gui Hyun Nam, Soon Kwan Hong, Mee Ja Kim, Aloke Gopal Ghoshal, Abdul Razak Bin Abdul Muttalif, Horng Chyuan Lin, Sanguansak Thanaviratananich, Shalini Bagga, Rab Faruqi, Shiva Sajjan, Santwona Baidya, De Yun Wang, Sang Heon Cho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

67 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Asia-Pacific Burden of Respiratory Diseases (APBORD) study is a cross-sectional, observational one which has used a standard protocol to examine the disease and economic burden of allergic rhinitis (AR), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and rhinosinusitis across the Asia-Pacific region. Here, we report on symptoms, healthcare resource use, work impairment, and associated costs in Korea. Methods: Consecutive participants aged ≥18 years with a primary diagnosis of asthma, AR, COPD, or rhinosinusitis were enrolled. Participants and their treating physician completed a survey detailing respiratory symptoms, healthcare resource use, and work productivity and activity impairment. Costs included direct medical cost and indirect cost associated with lost work productivity. Results: The study enrolled 999 patients. Patients were often diagnosed with multiple respiratory disorders (42.8%), with asthma/AR and AR/rhinosinusitis the most frequently diagnosed combinations. Cough or coughing up phlegm was the primary reason for the medical visit in patients with a primary diagnosis of asthma and COPD, whereas nasal symptoms (watery runny nose, blocked nose, and congestion) were the main reasons in those with AR and rhinosinusitis. The mean annual cost for patients with a respiratory disease was US$8,853 (SD 11,245) per patient. Lost productivity due to presenteeism was the biggest contributor to costs. Conclusions: Respiratory disease has a significant impact on disease burden in Korea. Treatment strategies for preventing lost work productivity could greatly reduce the economic burden of respiratory disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


  • Cost of illness
  • Health care costs
  • Korea
  • Respiratory tract disease


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