Asthma, a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, is costing the Australian community almost $28 billion per annum, says a new report.
The disease affects approximately one in 10 Australians, or 2.4 million people. Commissioned by Asthma Australia and the National Asthma Council Australia, the report highlights the growing economic impact of the condition on the government and families.
The study revealed the total cost of asthma in Australia in 2015 was $27.9 billion, comprised of $3.3 billion in economic costs and $24.7 billion in "burden of disease" costs.
The $3.3 billion in economic costs included productivity losses of $1.1 billion and annual health system costs of $1.2 billion. Other financial costs included about $246.4 million for government programs, travel costs, and formal care and another $635.9 million in other efficiency losses.
The study found that on average people with asthma were absent from work about two days per year more than non-sufferers. In 2015, estimated carers in Australia lost a total of $72.9 million in wages.