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Kovacs, Eva; Wang, Xiaoting and Grill, Eva (2019): Economic burden of vertigo: a systematic review. In: Health Economics Review, Vol. 9, 37

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BACKGROUND Vertigo, a highly prevalent disease, imposes a rising burden on the health care system, exacerbated by the ageing of the population; and further, contributes to a wide span of indirect burden due to reduced capacity to work or need of assistance in activities of daily living. The aim of this review was to summarise the evidence on the economic burden of vertigo. METHODS All original studies published between 2008 and 2018 about the economic evaluation of peripheral or central vestibular vertigo in developed countries were considered eligible, unrestricted to setting, health care provider, or study type. RESULTS The electronic search in three databases identified 154 studies from which 16 qualified for inclusion. All studies presented partial economic evaluation referring to a variety of vestibular vertigo including unspecified vertigo. Nine studies presented monetised cost results and seven studies reported health care utilization. Direct costs derived mainly from repeated and not well-targeted consultations at all levels of health care, excessive use of diagnostic imaging, and/or of emergency care. Considerable societal burden was caused by decreased productivity, mainly due to work absenteeism. CONCLUSION To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review of the existing evidence of the economic burden of vertigo. The lack of conclusive evidence revealed apparent targets of future research. First, studies of diagnostics and therapies for vestibular disease should include cost-effectiveness considerations. Population-based studies of health services utilization should include simple vestibular assessments to get more reliable estimates of the burden of disease and associated costs on the level of the general population. Further, clinical and population-based registries that include patients with vestibular disease, should consider collecting long-term data of societal burden. Primary data collection should increasingly include assessment of health care utilization e.g. by linking their diagnoses and outcomes to routine data from health insurances.

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