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Kirsch, Florian; Schramm, Anja; Schwarzkopf, Larissa; Lutter, Johanna I.; Szentes, Boglarka; Huber, Manuel; Leidl, Reiner (2019): Direct and indirect costs of COPD progression and its comorbidities in a structured disease management program: results from the LQ-DMP study. In: Respiratory Research, Vol. 20, No. 1, 215
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Abstract

Background: Evidence on the economic impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for third-party payers and society based on large real world datasets are still scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the economic impact of COPD severity and its comorbidities, stratified by GOLD grade, on direct and indirect costs for an unselected population enrolled in the structured German Disease Management Program (DMP) for COPD. Methods: All individuals enrolled in the DMP COPD were included in the analysis. Patients were only excluded if they were not insured or not enrolled in the DMP COPD the complete year before the last DMP documentation (at physician visit), had a missing forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) measurement or other missing values in covariates. The final dataset included 39,307 patients in GOLD grade 1 to 4. We used multiple generalized linear models to analyze the association of COPD severity with direct and indirect costs, while adjusting for sex, age, income, smoking status, body mass index, and comorbidities. Results: More severe COPD was significantly associated with higher healthcare utilization, work absence, and premature retirement. Adjusted annual costs for GOLD grade 1 to 4 amounted to (sic)3809 [(sic)3691-(sic)3935], (sic)4284 [(sic)4176-(sic)4394], (sic)5548 [(sic)5328-(sic)5774], and (sic)8309 [(sic)7583-9065] for direct costs, and (sic)11,784 [(sic)11,257-(sic)12,318], (sic)12, 985 [(sic)12,531-13,443], (sic)15,805 [(sic)15,034-(sic)16,584], and (sic)19,402 [(sic)17,853-(sic)21,017] for indirect costs. Comorbidities had significant additional effects on direct and indirect costs with factors ranging from 1.19 (arthritis) to 1.51 (myocardial infarction) in direct and from 1.16 (myocardial infarction) to 1.27 (cancer) in indirect costs. Conclusion: The findings indicate that more severe GOLD grades in an unselected COPD population enrolled in a structured DMP are associated with tremendous additional direct and indirect costs, with comorbidities significantly increase costs. In direct cost category hospitalization and in indirect cost category premature retirement were the main cost driver. From a societal perspective prevention and interventions focusing on disease control, and slowing down disease progression and strengthening the ability to work would be beneficial in order to realize cost savings in COPD.