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Your Environment. Your Health.

The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography

Details

Research article Cost analysis (CA)
Authors
Hoagland P, Jin D, Polansky LY, Kirkpatrick B, Kirkpatrick G, Fleming LE, Reich A, Watkins SM, Ullmann SG and Backer LC
Journal
Environmental Health Perspectives
Summary
The relationship between Karenia brevis algal blooms and the costs of respiratory illness-related visits to emergency departments in Sarasota County, Florida was the focus of this cost–benefit analysis. The authors found that the estimated marginal costs of illness ranged from $0.5 to $4 million, depending on bloom severity. Study results suggest blooms of K. brevis lead to significant economic impacts.
Population
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Respiratory outcomes (pneumonia, bronchitis (chronic/acute), asthma, upper airway disease)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Aerosolized toxicants (brevetoxins)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Algal blooms of Karenia brevis

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type:

  • Cost analysis (CA)

Cost Measured:

  • Marginal medical costs of emergency department (ED) visits for respiratory ailments due to aerosolized brevetoxins
  • lost productivity

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Other costs of illness (shellfish poisoning)
  • costs for accessing primary care physicians, allergists, or pulmonologists, as well as prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
  • non-market costs associated with pain and suffering

Benefits Measures: (Not available)

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location:

  • Sarasota County, Florida

Models Used:

  • Exposure-response model

Methods Used:

  • The authors examined the relationship between K. brevis blooms and respiratory illness visits to hospital emergency departments and used this relationship to estimate the costs of illness associated with aerosolized brevetoxins. The authors — 1) developed an exposure-response model to express hypotheses about the relationship between respiratory illnesses, harmful algal blooms events, and other potential explanatory variables; 2) compiled total number of daily emergency department visits for respiratory diagnoses from October 2001 - September 2006; and 3) used in situ K. brevis cell counts as a proxy for aerosolized brevetoxin concentrations along the coast.

Sources Used:

  • ED visits related to respiratory illness (Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 2001-2006); CDC; Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau; Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration; US Census Bureau (2008); National Allergy Bureau; MML Pass Weather Station (2009); World Health Organization; National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System; additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Citation:

  • Hoagland P, Jin D, Polansky LY, Kirkpatrick B, Kirkpatrick G, Fleming LE, Reich A, Watkins SM, Ullmann SG and Backer LC. 2009. The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida gulf coast Karenia brevis blooms. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Pubmed:

DOI:

NIEHS Funding:

  • P50ES12736
  • P01ES010594
  • P50ES012742

Other Funding: (Not available)

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