Medical Expenditures Attributed to Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Workers - United States, 2011-2015.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Jul 03; 69(26):809-814.MM
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are respiratory conditions associated with a significant economic cost among U.S. adults (1,2), and up to 44% of asthma and 50% of COPD cases among adults are associated with workplace exposures (3). CDC analyzed 2011-2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data to determine the medical expenditures attributed to treatment of asthma and COPD among U.S. workers aged ≥18 years who were employed at any time during the survey year. During 2011-2015, among the estimated 166 million U.S. workers, 8 million had at least one asthma-related medical event,* and 7 million had at least one COPD-related medical event. The annualized total medical expenditures, in 2017 dollars, were $7 billion for asthma and $5 billion for COPD. Private health insurance paid for 61% of expenditures attributable to treatment of asthma and 59% related to COPD. By type of medical event, the highest annualized per-person asthma- and COPD-related expenditures were for inpatient visits: $8,238 for asthma and $27,597 for COPD. By industry group, the highest annualized per-person expenditures ($1,279 for asthma and $1,819 for COPD) were among workers in public administration. Early identification and reduction of risk factors, including workplace exposures, and implementation of proven interventions are needed to reduce the adverse health and economic impacts of asthma and COPD among workers.