Disease Information

Airway diseases – allergy, sinusitis and asthma are chronic diseases that are on the rise in the United States, as well as increasing world-wide. The sheer vastness of the presence of airway disease indicates an urgent need for a center of excellence in airway disease.

  • Sufferers of airway disease significantly outnumber the combined sufferers of diabetes, cancer,
    heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Approximately 25 percent, or nearly 75 million people, of the U.S. population is affected by airway diseases.
  • Allergies, affecting some 50 million people, is the 5th leading chronic disease, 3rd among children.
  • Asthma alone has doubled in the past 20 years and now affects 25 million people, while chronic sinusitis affects nearly 37 million people.

Airway Disease Economic Impact

The cost of airway disease to the healthcare delivery system and society at large is substantial, with nearly $30 billion in direct and indirect costs expended annually.

  • Allergy complaints account for 17 million outpatient visits for allergic rhinitis, and 18 million office visits result in a diagnosis of sinusitis, equaling $8 billion in annual costs with $6 billion in direct healthcare costs
  • Asthma costs $18 billion annually with $11.5 billion in direct healthcare costs
    • Asthma accounts for some 15 million outpatient office visits, 2 million ER visits and 500,000 hospitalizations per year.
    • Asthma is the leading cause of missed school days (14 million) and more hospitalizations than any other childhood disease.
    • Asthma and allergies are the 4th and 5th leading cause of work absenteeism, respectively, resulting in some 20 million lost work days each year and $4 billion in lost productivity.