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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 819194, 7 pages
Research Article

Chronic Comorbidities Contribute to the Burden and Costs of Persistent Asthma

1University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Respiratory Diseases and Allergology, Inflammation Center, Skin and Allergy Hospital, P.O. Box 160, 00029 Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University, P.O. Box 15500, 00076 Aalto, Finland
3South Karelia Allergy and Environment Institute, Lääkäritie 15, 55330 Tiuruniemi, Finland
4Social Insurance Institution, Research Department, P.O. Box 450, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
5University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Pediatric Diseases and Allergology, Inflammation Center, Skin and Allergy Hospital, P.O. Box 160, 00029 Helsinki, Finland

Received 14 September 2015; Accepted 25 November 2015

Academic Editor: Pham My-Chan Dang

Copyright © 2015 Paula Kauppi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. We aimed to study the prevalence of chronic comorbidities in asthma patients and the costs of health care use associated with asthma with comorbidities. Material and Methods. We analysed the prevalence of the four most common chronic diseases in asthma patients in 2008–2014 in Finland. Prevalence of coronary artery disease, diabetes and dyslipidaemia, hypertension, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatic diseases, and severe psychiatric disease was studied by register of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The costs of health care services were collected from the registries maintained by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Results. Prevalence of asthma was 4.6% in 2014. Diabetes was among the four most common comorbidities in all the age groups. The other common comorbidities were hypertension (≥46 years; 12.9–37.6%), severe psychiatric disorders (age groups of 16–59 years; 1.4–3.5%), and ischaemic heart disease (≥60 years; 10–25%). In patients with both asthma and diabetes, the costs of hospitalization were approximately 169% compared with patients with asthma alone. Conclusions. Prevalence of asthma increases by tenfold when aging. The comorbidity diversity and rate are age-dependent. Prevalence of diabetes as comorbidity in asthma has increased. Costs of hospitalizations in asthma approximately double with chronic comorbidities.