$25 Billion Lost to Food Allergies a Year in U.S.

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U.S.Food Allergies Cost $25 Billion

The yearly economic burdens associated with each of the four major categories per food-allergic child and nationally were as follows:

Direct medical costs: $724 per child, $4.3 billion nationally

Out-of-pocket costs: $931 per child, $5.5 billion nationally

Lost work productivity: $130 per child, $0.8 billion nationally

Forgone work opportunities: $2,399 per child, $14.2 billion nationally

The per-child total summed to $4,184, Gupta said, with a national annual burden of $24.8 billion. The parental share, excluding the direct medical costs covered by third-party payers, was $3,457 annually.

Interestingly, Gupta said, respondents were also asked in the survey how much they would be willing to spend to cure their child of food allergy.

The average response, after throwing out answers exceeding $10,000 monthly, was $3,504, which was virtually identical to the estimate of actual average costs borne by parents. Gupta suggested that this was an independent corroboration of the investigators' estimates.

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