• Article

Assure-Csu Canadian results Assessing the impact of chronic spontaneous/idiopathic urticaria on work productivity and indirect costs

Chronic spontaneous/idiopathic urticaria (CSU/CIU) is defined as the spontaneous appearance of itchy hives, angioedema, or both lasting ?6 weeks. CSU/CIU has a significant yet underestimated impact on patient’s work productivity. The ASSURE-CSU study aims to identify and quantify the humanistic and economic burden of CSU/CIU. Here we present Canadian data on work productivity and indirect costs.

Patients with CSU/CIU, aged ?18 years, with disease for ?12 months, symptomatic despite treatment were recruited in the study. Data were collected on absenteeism and productivity loss via the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment –Specific Health problem (WPAI-SHP) questionnaire. The associated indirectly monthly costs were estimated based on 150hr/working week and average wage $CAD 25.62/hr. Descriptive statistics were provided and stratified by disease severity.

Cohort included 99 patients with a mean age of 50.8 years; 5 years mean disease duration, and a higher proportion of women (77.8%). Overall, 86 patients completed the WPAI with 54.7% employed (assessed separately from the WPAI, 46.5% had full-time employment). In the last 7 days, the mean proportion of time missed at work due to CSU/CIU was 6.0% (SD=12.0%). The greatest percentage of time missed due to CSU/CIU was reported in moderate and severe patients (8.9% and 10.6%, respectively). The mean proportion of overall work impairment due to CIU/CSU was 30.6% (SD=27%). Total indirect monthly cost of work productivity loss was estimated to be a mean (SD) of $1,177 per patient in full-time employment. The overall indirect costs increased with disease severity.

This Canadian-specific analysis from ASSURE-CSU suggests that almost all patients in employment are affected at work by their disease, either through absenteeism or reduced productivity at work resulting in significant economic impact for employers and society.


Sussman, G., Lee, J., Chiva-Razavi, S., Chambenoit, O., Hollis, K., McBride, D., ... Balp, M. (2015). Assure-Csu Canadian results: Assessing the impact of chronic spontaneous/idiopathic urticaria on work productivity and indirect costs. Value in Health, 18(3), A174-A175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2015.03.1009