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The economic burden of depression in Sweden from 1997 to 2005

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

Patrik Sobocki*
Affiliation:
Division for International Health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. European Health Economics, Vasagatan 38, SE-111 20, Stockholm, Sweden
Ingrid Lekander
Affiliation:
European Health Economics, Vasagatan 38, SE-111 20, Stockholm, Sweden
Fredrik Borgström
Affiliation:
European Health Economics, Vasagatan 38, SE-111 20, Stockholm, Sweden
Oskar Ström
Affiliation:
European Health Economics, Vasagatan 38, SE-111 20, Stockholm, Sweden
Bo Runeson
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Section for Psychiatry, St. Göran's Hospital, Karoliniska Institutet, SE-171 76, Stockholm, Sweden
*
*Corresponding author. European Health Economics, Vasagatan 38, SE-11120 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel.: +46 8 545 28 548; fax: +46 8 545 28 549. E-mail address:patrik.sobocki@ki.se (P. Sobocki).
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Abstract

Background

Depression is one of the most common causes of disability and is associated with substantial reductions in the individual's quality of life. The aim of this study was to estimate the economic burden of depression to Swedish society from 1997 to 2005.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted in a cost-of-illness framework, measuring both the direct cost of providing health care to depressive patients, and the indirect costs as the value of production that is lost due to morbidity or mortality. The costs were estimated by a prevalence and top-down approach.

Results

The cost of depression increased from a total of €1.7 billion in 1997 to €3.5 billion in 2005, representing a doubling of the burden of depression to society. The main reason for the cost increase is found in the significant increase in indirect costs due to sick leave and early retirement during the past decade, whereas direct costs were relatively stable over time. In 2005, indirect costs were estimated at €3 billion (86% of total costs) and direct costs at €500 million (16%). Cost of drugs was estimated at €100 million (3% of total cost).

Conclusion

The cost of depression is substantial to society and the main cost driver is indirect costs due to sick leave and early retirement. The cost of depression has doubled during the past eight years making it a major public health concern for the individuals afflicted, carers and decision makers.

Type
Epidemiology and Social Psychiatry
Copyright
Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2007

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