Data from Allergy - Curated by EPG Health - Date available 22 June 2014

Original date published

22 June 2014

Original format

Print publication

Background: In the European Union (EU), between 44 and 76 million individuals of the 217 million EU employees suffer from allergic disease of the airways or the skin. Up to 90% of these persons are untreated or insufficiently treated. This has major socio-economic consequences such as absence from work (absenteeism), particularly reduced productivity at work (presenteeism).

Methods: We used published literature and online statistical information from Eurostat and Eurofound to assess the costs of allergic disease to society.

Results: Allergies have an impact on direct, indirect, intangible and opportunity costs. Most importantly, for the EU, avoidable indirect costs per patient insuffi- ciently treated for allergy range between €55 and €151 billion per annum due to absenteeism and presenteeism, that is, €2405 per untreated patient per year. On the other hand, appropriate therapy for allergic diseases is available at compara- tively low costs at an average of €125 per patient annually, equalling only 5% of the costs of untreated disease, allowing potential savings of up to €142 billion.

Conclusions: A better care for allergies based on guideline-based treatment would allow Europe’s economy substantial savings. In addition, allergies have an impact on learning and performance at school and university, leading to opportunity costs for society. This cannot be calculated moneywise but will have an impact in a modern knowledge-based society. Still allergies are trivialized in society, noting that the costs of therapy are paid by patients and healthcare services, whereas economic savings are made by employers and society. A change of this mindset is urgently needed.

Data sources

Access full article


You will need to login, to leave a comment. is not monitored for collection of adverse event reports. Any adverse events should be reported to your national reporting agency and/or the manufacturer.

Learning Zones

An Learning Zone (LZ) is an area of the site dedicated to providing detailed self-directed medical education about a disease, condition or procedure.

EADV 2018 Highlights

EADV 2018 Highlights

EADV Congress 2018: Bringing you the latest news and insights from 27th EADV Congress, 12-16 September 2018 Paris, France.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis causes great strain on the workforce. Help to reduce sick days and improve productivity with appropriate treatment options.

+ 4 more

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic and progressive fibrotic interstitial lung disease that occurs mostly in older adults, is limited to the lungs and often displays a characteristic imaging and histological appearance. Find out how to diagnose IPF and the latest interventions available for patients living with this burden.

Load more

Related Content