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Assessing the future medical cost burden for the European health systems under alternative exposure-to-risks scenarios

Abstract : Background: Ageing populations and rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) increasingly contribute to the growing cost burden facing European healthcare systems. Few studies have attempted to quantify the future magnitude of this burden at the European level, and none of them consider the impact of potential changes in risk factor trajectories on future health expenditures. Methods: The new microsimulation model forecasts the impact of behavioural and metabolic risk factors on NCDs, longevity and direct healthcare costs, and shows how changes in epidemiological trends can modify those impacts. Economic burden of NCDs is modelled under three scenarios based on assumed future risk factors trends: business as usual (BAU); best case and worst case predictions (BCP and WCP). Findings: The direct costs of NCDs in the EU 27 countries and the UK (in constant 2014 prices) will grow under all scenarios. Between 2014 and 2050, the overall healthcare spending is expected to increase by 0.8% annually under BAU. In the all the countries, 605 billion Euros can be saved by 2050 if BCP is realized compared to the BAU, while excess spending under the WCP is forecast to be around 350 billion. Interpretation: Although the savings realised under the BCP can be substantial, population ageing is a stronger driver of rising total healthcare expenditures in Europe compared to scenario-based changes in risk factor prevalence.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 16, 2020 - 11:14:22 AM
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Yevgeniy Goryakin, Sophie Thiébaut, Sébastien Cortaredona, M. Aliénor Lerouge, Michele Cecchini, et al.. Assessing the future medical cost burden for the European health systems under alternative exposure-to-risks scenarios. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (9), pp.e0238565. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0238565⟩. ⟨hal-02964995⟩



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