Gender Differences in the Direct, Indirect, and Socio-Emotional Costs of Living and Seeking Healthcare for Adults with and without Food-Sensitivity

M. Fox, M. Mugford, L.J. Frewer, J. Voordouw, J.O.B. Hourihane, A. DunnGalvin

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic

Abstract

RATIONALE: Gender differences have been reported in household costs in living with food allergy, however, to date no validated disease specific questionnaire has been available to measure direct, indirect costs. AIM: To measure gender differences in the direct, indirect, and socio-emotional costs of living and seeking healthcare for adults with (cases) and without (controls) food-sensitivity. METHODS: We used the validated ‘household costs of food allergy’ questionnaire in a clinical case-control study design in four countries (Spain, Netherlands, Poland, UK). Uniform cluster analysis was applied to the data set using a two-step approach with regard to direct, indirect and social-emotional costs. Analysis of covariance with post-hoc tests were used to identify significant differences between genders on individual variables. RESULTS: Three clusters emerged from the analysis. The overall mean for direct costs was 5491.0 per annum. Cluster 1 was above mean (M 7198.3, SD 5433.2); Cluster 2 was at mean (M 5547.1, SD 2917.5) and Cluster 3 fell below mean (M 4585.7, SD 2990.4). The biggest single percentage of cases (male 40% female 60%) fell into Cluster 1. The largest single percentage of controls male (100%) and female (100%) were identified within Clusters 2 and 3, respectively. The pattern for indirect and socio- emotional costs showed similar gender differences. CONCLUSION: Food allergy confers a significant socio-economic burden, particularly on females. This is the first time that a validated socio-economic measure has become available and will be invaluable for regulators and policy makers in both the evaluation of present and future interventions and the effective targeting of resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)AB186-AB186
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume127
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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