Economic burden of asthma in Singapore.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background and objective

Up-to-date economic burden of asthma in Singapore is currently unknown.


We quantify the per capita and total annual costs of asthma for adults and children by level of symptom control (uncontrolled, partly controlled, and well controlled) via a cross-sectional online survey administered to a national web panel. Participants were asked about healthcare utilisation, days missed from work, and reduced productivity due to their symptoms. These values were then monetised and multiplied by prevalence estimates of adult and child asthmatics to generate total costs.


A total of 300 adults and 221 parents of children with asthma were included in analysis. The total annual cost of adult asthma was estimated to be SGD 1.74 billion (US$1.25 billion) with 42% coming from the uncontrolled group, 45% from the partly controlled group, and 13% from the well-controlled group. For children, the total cost is SGD 0.35 billion (US$0.25 billion), with 64%, 26% and 10% coming from each group respectively. Combined, the annual economic burden of asthma in Singapore is SGD 2.09 billion (US$1.50 billion) with 79% due to productivity losses.


Poorly controlled asthma imposes a significant economic burden. Therefore, better control of disease has the potential to generate not only health improvements, but also medical expenditure savings and productivity gains.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Finkelstein, EA; Lau, E; Doble, B; Ong, B; Koh, MS

Published Date

  • March 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 1

PubMed ID

  • 33737309

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7978329

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2052-4439

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2052-4439

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bmjresp-2020-000654


  • eng