PJ Online | News: Heart disease is the most costly condition in the UK
The Pharmaceutical Journal
Heart disease is the most costly condition in the UK
Coronary heart disease (CHD) cost over £7bn in 1999, making it the United Kingdom's most expensive medical condition, according to health economists.
Researchers from the Institute of Health Sciences in Oxford calculated that the cost of CHD to the National Health Service was ?1.73bn, while informal care costs and/or revenue lost due to decreased productivity amounted to about ?5.3bn. Just over half of NHS cost was attributed to hospital inpatient care (?917m) and about a third to drug treatment (?558m) (Heart 2002;88:597). This latest estimate for the total cost of CHD is some seven to 10 times higher than that calculated by previous studies. The researchers say this is because previous studies have not taken lost productivity and earnings into account when calculating the total financial burden of the disease.
CHD is followed by back pain as the next most expensive condition, which cost the UK about ?6.8bn in 1999, and rheumatoid arthritis, costing ?2bn. Alzheimer's disease and lower respiratory tract infections cost the NHS alone approximately ?2bn and ?1.8bn, respectively ? more than back pain and CHD. However, there are no data on other costs, so the total burden of these conditions on the UK economy is not known.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20008227
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