Epidemiology and disease burden from allergic disease in Scotland: Analyses of national databases

Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9DX, UK.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.12). 10/2009; 102(10):431-42. DOI: 10.1258/jrsm.2009.090027
Source: PubMed


There are ongoing concerns about the quality of care provided to patients with allergic disorders in Scotland, but there are relatively few reliable data on the overall disease burden. We sought to: (1) describe the incidence, prevalence and outcome of allergic disorders; (2) estimate healthcare burden and costs; and (3) investigate ethnic variations in the epidemiology and outcomes from allergic disorders in Scotland.
Data sources: national surveys; primary care data; prescribing and medication data; hospital admissions data and mortality data.
Allergic disorders are extremely common in Scotland, affecting about one in three of the population at some time in their lives. Incidence was highest for eczema (10.2 per 1000 registered patients). Over 4% of all GP consultations and 1.5% of hospital admissions were for allergic disorders. There were 100 asthma deaths in 2005 (20 per million people). Direct healthcare costs for allergic disorders were an estimated pound130 million per year, the majority of these being incurred in primary care and related to asthma.
Allergic disorders are common in Scotland and given the very high proportion of children now affected, the high disease burden associated with these conditions is likely to persist for many decades.

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    • "The recent UK National Review of Asthma Deaths has found persistent problems with poor asthma care and substantial , potentially preventable morbidity and mortality[4]. Investigations conducted within the UK suggest that Scotland has a particularly high morbidity from asthma, for reasons that remain poorly understood[5]. There are, as yet, only a limited number of withincountry investigations of ethnic differences in asthma. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Our previous meta-analysis found that South Asians and Blacks in the UK were at a substantially increased risk of hospital admission from asthma. These estimates were, however, derived from pooling data from a limited number of now dated studies, confined to only three very broad ethnic groups (i.e. Whites, South Asians and Blacks) and failed to take account of possible sex-related differences in outcomes within these ethnic groups. We undertook the first study investigating ethnic variations in asthma outcomes across an entire population. Methods: This retrospective 9-year cohort study linked Scotland's hospitalisation/death records on asthma to the 2001 census (providing ethnic group). We calculated age, country of birth and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation adjusted incident rate ratios (IRRs) for hospitalisation or death by sex for the period May 2001-2010. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for asthma readmission and subsequent asthma death. Results: We were able to link data on 4.62 million people (91.8% of the Scottish population), yielding over 38 million patient-years of data, 1,845 asthma deaths, 113,795 first asthma admissions, and 107,710 readmissions (40,075 of which were for asthma). There were substantial ethnic variations in the rate of hospitalisation/death in both males and females. When compared to the reference Scottish White population, the highest age-adjusted rates were in Pakistani males (IRR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.30-1.94) and females (IRR = 1.50; 95% CI, 1.06-2.11) and Indian males (IRR = 1.34; 95% CI, 1.16-1.54), and the lowest were seen in Chinese males (IRR = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41-0.94) and females (IRR = 0.49; 95% CI, 0.39-0.61). Conclusion: There are very substantial ethnic variations in hospital admission/deaths from asthma in Scotland, with Pakistanis having the worst and Chinese having the best outcomes. Cultural factors, including self-management and health seeking behaviours, and variations in the quality of primary care provision are the most likely explanations for these differences and these now need to be formally investigated.
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    • "Asthma has a significant effect not only on an individual patient’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL) [5], but also on society and the economy through work absence and premature retirement [6,7]. Its impact on national health systems is considerable [4,8,9]. In the UK treatments for asthma and other allergic disorders account for more than 10% of all primary care prescribing costs [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Supporting self-management behaviours is recommended guidance for people with asthma. Preliminary work suggests that a brief, intensive, patient-centred intervention may be successful in supporting people with asthma to participate in life roles and activities they value. We seek to assess the feasibility of undertaking a cluster-randomised controlled trial (cRCT) of a brief, goal-setting intervention delivered in the context of an asthma review consultation. A two armed, single-blinded, multi-centre, cluster-randomised controlled feasibility trial will be conducted in UK primary care. Randomisation will take place at the practice level. We aim to recruit a total of 80 primary care patients with active asthma from at least eight practices across two health boards in Scotland (10 patients per practice resulting in ~40 in each arm). Patients in the intervention arm will be asked to complete a novel goal-setting tool immediately prior to an asthma review consultation. This will be used to underpin a focussed discussion about their goals during the asthma review. A tailored management plan will then be negotiated to facilitate achieving their prioritised goals. Patients in the control arm will receive a usual care guideline-based review of asthma. Data on quality of life, asthma control and patient confidence will be collected from both arms at baseline and 3 and 6 months post-intervention. Data on health services resource use will be collected from all patient records 6 months pre- and post-intervention. Semi-structured interviews will be carried out with healthcare staff and a purposive sample of patients to elicit their views and experiences of the trial. The outcomes of interest in this feasibility trial are the ability to recruit patients and healthcare staff, the optimal method of delivering the intervention within routine clinical practice, and acceptability and perceived utility of the intervention among patients and staff. Trial registration ISRCTN18912042
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Trials
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    • "The UK prevalence of atopic dermatitis/eczema and hay fever in children is also high, such that internationally the UK was ranked second for prevalence of atopic dermatitis/eczema and seventh for hay fever [7,8]. In Scotland in 2004, nearly 4% of general practitioner consultations and 1.5% of hospital admissions were for allergic disorders [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Over recent decades there has been a substantial increase in asthma and allergic disease especially in children. Given the high prevalence, and the associated high disease burden and costs, there is a need to identify effective strategies for the primary prevention of asthma and allergy. A recent systematic review of the literature found strong supportive epidemiological evidence for a protective role of the Mediterranean diet, which now needs to be confirmed through formal experimental studies. This pilot trial in pregnant women aims to establish recruitment, retention and acceptability of a dietary intervention, and to assess the likely impact of the intervention on adherence to a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy. Methods/Design This study was a pilot, two-arm, randomised controlled trial in a sample population of pregnant women at high risk of having a child who will develop asthma or allergic disease. Discussion The work ultimately aims to contribute to improving health outcomes through seeking to reduce the incidence of asthma and allergic problems. This pilot trial will prove invaluable in informing the subsequent planned large-scale, parallel group, randomised controlled trial. Trial registration NCT01634516
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Trials
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