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Estimating the incidence, prevalence and true cost of asthma in the UK: secondary analysis of national stand-alone and linked databases in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales—a study protocol
  1. Mome Mukherjee1,2,
  2. Ramyani Gupta3,
  3. Angela Farr4,
  4. Martin Heaven5,
  5. Andrew Stoddart2,
  6. Bright I Nwaru1,
  7. Deborah Fitzsimmons4,
  8. George Chamberlain4,
  9. Amrita Bandyopadhyay5,
  10. Colin Fischbacher6,
  11. Christopher Dibben7,
  12. Michael Shields8,
  13. Ceri Phillips4,
  14. David Strachan3,
  15. Gwyneth Davies9,
  16. Brian McKinstry1,2,
  17. Aziz Sheikh2
  18. on behalf of the Burden and True Cost of Asthma in the UK Research Team
  1. 1Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Edinburgh Health Services Research Unit, Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Population Health Research Institute, St George's, University of London, London, UK
  4. 4Swansea Centre for Health Economics (SCHE), College of Human and Health Science, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  5. 5CIPHER—Centre for the Improvement of Population Health through e-Records Research, Centre for Health Information, Research and Evaluation (CHIRAL), College of Medicine, Institute of Life Science 2 (ILS2), Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  6. 6Information Services Division (ISD), NHS National Services Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  7. 7Department of Geography & Sustainable Development, School of Geography & Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  8. 8Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  9. 9Asthma & Allergy Group, Institute of Life Science, College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mome Mukherjee; mome.mukherjee{at}


Introduction Asthma is now one of the most common long-term conditions in the UK. It is therefore important to develop a comprehensive appreciation of the healthcare and societal costs in order to inform decisions on care provision and planning. We plan to build on our earlier estimates of national prevalence and costs from asthma by filling the data gaps previously identified in relation to healthcare and broadening the field of enquiry to include societal costs. This work will provide the first UK-wide estimates of the costs of asthma. In the context of asthma for the UK and its member countries (ie, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), we seek to: (1) produce a detailed overview of estimates of incidence, prevalence and healthcare utilisation; (2) estimate health and societal costs; (3) identify any remaining information gaps and explore the feasibility of filling these and (4) provide insights into future research that has the potential to inform changes in policy leading to the provision of more cost-effective care.

Methods and analysis Secondary analyses of data from national health surveys, primary care, prescribing, emergency care, hospital, mortality and administrative data sources will be undertaken to estimate prevalence, healthcare utilisation and outcomes from asthma. Data linkages and economic modelling will be undertaken in an attempt to populate data gaps and estimate costs. Separate prevalence and cost estimates will be calculated for each of the UK-member countries and these will then be aggregated to generate UK-wide estimates.

Ethics and dissemination Approvals have been obtained from the NHS Scotland Information Services Division's Privacy Advisory Committee, the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Collaboration Review System, the NHS South-East Scotland Research Ethics Service and The University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee. We will produce a report for Asthma-UK, submit papers to peer-reviewed journals and construct an interactive map.


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