Vol. 10 No. 2-3 (2016)
Articles

The direct and indirect costs associated with food hypersensitivity in households: A study in the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain

Published August 1, 2016
Jantine Voordouw
Wageningen University, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group, Wageningen
Gerrit Antonides
Wageningen University, Economics of Consumers and Households group Wageningen
Margaret Fox
University of East Anglia, Health Economics Group, Norwich Medical School, Norwich, United Kingdom
Inma Cerecedo
Allergy Division. Department of Medicine. Hospital del Sureste. Arganda del Rey. Madrid. Spain
Javier Zamora
Clinical Biostatistics Unit, University Hospital Ramón y Cajal (IRYCIS) and CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Publica (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.
Belen de la Hoz Caballer
Allergy Department, University Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain
Ewa Rokicka
Lodz University, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, Lodz, Poland
Judith R. Cornelisse-Vermaat
Wageningen University, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group, Wageningen, the Netherlands
Maciej Jewczak
Lodz University, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, Lodz, Poland
Pawel Starosta
Lodz University, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, Lodz, Poland
Marek Kowalski
Lodz University, department of Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Faculty of Medicine, Lodz, Poland
Monika Jędrzejczak-Czechowicz
Lodz University, department of Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Faculty of Medicine, Lodz, Poland
Sonia Vázquez-Cortes
Allergy Department, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
Sara Cano-Escudero
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Preventive Medicine Department, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid
Bertine M.J. Flokstra-De Blok
University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Department of General Practice, GRIAC Research Institute, Groningen, the Netherlands
Anthony E.J. Dubois
University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergy, GRIAC Research Institute, Groningen, the Netherlands
Miranda Mugford
University of East Anglia, Health Economics Group, Norwich Medical School, Norwich, United Kingdom
Lynn J. Frewer
Wageningen University, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group, Wageningen, the Netherlands; Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
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APA

Voordouw, J. ., Antonides, . G., Fox, M. ., Cerecedo, . I. ., Zamora, J. ., de la Hoz Caballer, B. ., Rokicka, E. ., Cornelisse-Vermaat, . J. R. ., Jewczak, M. ., Starosta, P. ., Kowalski, M. ., Jędrzejczak-Czechowicz, . M. ., Vázquez-Cortes, S., Cano-Escudero, S. ., Flokstra-De Blok, B. M. ., Dubois, A. E. ., Mugford, M. ., & Frewer, . L. J. . (2016). The direct and indirect costs associated with food hypersensitivity in households: A study in the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, 10(2-3), 107–117. https://doi.org/10.19041/APSTRACT/2016/2-3/12

Background: Recent studies show that food hypersensitivity, such as food allergy or food intolerance, has the potential to affect direct, indirect and intangible economic costs experienced by individuals and their families. This research assesses the direct and indirect economic costs of food hypersensitivity at the household level in the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.
Methods:  A self-administered postal survey was conducted (n=1558). Respondents with food hypersensitivity were clinically diagnosed cases recruited through clinical centres in Poland and Spain. In the Netherlands, food hypersensitivity cases were recruited through hospitals, patient organisations and advertisements. The controls formed the baseline sample and were obtained from households in which none of the members had food hypersensitivity. The monetary value of indirect costs, forgone time, was calculated using the opportunity cost method. The indirect and direct costs were expressed in purchasing power parity. Analysis of co-variance on the cost items was used to test the within-country differences between respondents with food hypersensitivity and respondents without food hypersensitivity, as well as across the three countries.
Results: The average total direct and indirect costs across all countries for families with food hypersensitive family members are not higher than for households without food hypersensitive members. However, the intangible costs for food hypersensitive individuals appear to be higher than for individuals in the control group.
Conclusions: These results do not support the hypothesis that all food allergies incur high costs to the individual. However, being hypersensitive to foods may have a negative impact on quality of life compared to people who are not food hypersensitive.