The Burden of Chronic Urticaria from Brazilian Patients' Perspective

Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2017 Dec;7(4):535-545. doi: 10.1007/s13555-017-0191-4. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Introduction: Chronic urticaria (CU), a proxy for chronic spontaneous urticaria, has been associated with a negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and costs, but there is limited evidence on the burden of CU in Brazil. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of CU and assess the burden of CU on HRQoL and healthcare resource utilization (HRU) among adults in Brazil.

Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional study, pooled data from the 2011, 2012, and 2015 National Health and Wellness Survey in Brazil (n = 36,000). Respondents (aged ≥18 years) diagnosed with and treated for CU provided data on demographics, health history, HRQoL (mental and physical health status) on Short-Form SF-36v2, presence of psychological complaints, work impairment, activity impairment, and HRU. Generalized linear models, controlling for covariates, examined differences between those treated for CU and matched controls on the outcome variables.

Results: The prevalence of diagnosed CU was 0.41% (n = 249) and treated CU was 0.21% (n = 127). After adjustments, CU (currently treated for CU) was associated with worse mental functioning, physical functioning, and health utilities compared with controls (all p < 0.01). CU had over twice the odds of anxiety and sleep difficulties, over 1.5 times the work and activity impairment, twice the number of total physician visits, eight times the number of allergist visits, and twice the number of emergency room visits as controls (all p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Many CU patients using prescription treatment experienced anxiety and sleep disturbances, poorer HRQoL, significant work and activity impairment, and high HRU, compared with matched general population controls. Findings suggest an unmet need for more effective treatment and management of CU in Brazil.

Funding: Novartis Pharma AG and Genentech.

Keywords: Chronic urticaria; Prevalence; Productivity impairment; Quality of life; Resource utilization.