Having more than one chronic disease amplifies costs of diseases, study finds

health
Credit: George Hodan/public domain

Having two or more non-communicable diseases (multimorbidity) costs the country more than the sum of those individual diseases would cost, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Tony Blakely from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and colleagues.

Few studies have estimated disease-specific health system expenditure for many diseases simultaneously. In the new work, the researchers used nationally linked for all New Zealanders, including hospitalization, outpatient, pharmaceutical, laboratory and primary care from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2014. These data include 18.9 million person-years and $26.4 billion US in spending. The team calculated annual health expenditure per person and analyzed the association of this spending to whether a person had any of six non-communicable disease classes—cancer, , diabetes, musculoskeletal, neurological, and lung/liver/kidney (LLK) diseases—or a combination of any of those diseases.

59% of publically-funded health expenditures in New Zealand were attributable to . Nearly a quarter (23.8%) of this spending was attributable to the costs of having two or more diseases above and beyond what the diseases cost separately. Of the remaining spending, and stroke accounted for 18.7%, followed by musculoskeletal (16.2%), neurological (14.4%), cancer (14.1%), LLK disease (7.4%) and diabetes (5.5%). Expenditure was generally the highest in the year of diagnosis and the year of death.

"There is a surprising lack of disease-attributed costing studies involving multiple diseases at once," the authors say. "Governments and health systems managers and funders can improve planning and prioritisation knowing where the money goes."


Explore further

1996 to 2013 saw large increase in diabetes spending

More information: Blakely T, Kvizhinadze G, Atkinson J, Dieleman J, Clarke P (2019) Health system costs for individual and comorbid noncommunicable diseases: An analysis of publicly funded health events from New Zealand. PLoS Med 16(1): e1002716. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002716
Provided by Public Library of Science
Citation: Having more than one chronic disease amplifies costs of diseases, study finds (2019, January 8) retrieved 16 January 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-chronic-disease-amplifies-diseases.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more