COST OF DISORDERS OF THE BRAIN IN SLOVENIA*
AbstractWhereas there are many publications on disorders of, for instance, heart or kidney function, there are few, if any, on brain disorders, which are traditionally viewed separately asmental, neurological or neurosurgical disorders. There are, however, marked similaritiesand shared interests between the fields and, most importantly, basic neuroscience is equally relevant for all clinical problems. The European Brain Council has analysed the burdenand the cost of brain disorders in Europe. The aim of the present text is to report data forSlovenia.Twelve different disorders (or groups of disorders) of brain believed to have the highestcost (addiction, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, brain tumours, dementia, epilepsy,migraine and other headaches, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, psychotic disorders,stroke, and trauma) were analysed. Epidemiology data for Europe were collected as12-month prevalence data for disorders by country and stratified according to age,gender, and disorder severity. Because little original data were available for Slovenia,extrapolated data were used. Health economic data (representing direct medical costs,direct non-medical costs, and indirect costs) being transformed into euros for the year2004 were entered into a health economic model.The total number of brain disorders in Slovenia amounted to 570,000 in 2004, and whencorrected for co-morbidity, 1/5 of the Slovenian population have a brain disorder. Inparticular, this is 39,000 alcohol dependents and illicit drug dependants, 105.000 affectivedisorders, 195,000 anxiety disorders, 178,000 migraine, etc. The total cost of all includedbrain disorders in Slovenia was estimated at 833 million euros, the most costly beingaffective disorders, dementia, and addiction. It should be mentioned that both the epidemiological data and the resulting cost are significantly underestimated for several disorders,particularly stroke. Direct health care cost mounted to 403 million euros and constituted48 % of total cost; 6 % of the total cost present drugs for brain disorders. Thus brain disorders in Slovenia constituted 14 % of the total direct health care cost in Slovenia and 9 % oftotal drug costs. The total cost of brain disorders constituted 2 % of the gross nationalproduct of Slovenia.The preparations for this study have revealed an important lack of epidemiological andhealth economical data of brain disorders in Slovenia which should serve to promote thesestudies in future. The estimated costs are nevertheless thought to present a relatively good measure of the real picture. The significance of these costs has not really been appreciatedso far due to the particularisation of psychiatric, neurological, and neurosurgical disorders into individual compartments. Data should be useful for strategic planning of healthcare, research, and education.
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