Multimorbidity presents a large financial burden

Sairaalan käytävä.

Multimorbidity is a growing global phenomenon that presents a significant burden to both the health and the economy of the population in many countries. This systematic review provides insight into the costs of multimorbidity by addressing the following research questions:

  • What evidence exists in respect of the costs of multimorbidity?
  • How do the costs of certain disease combinations vary from country to country?
  • How do costs vary between disease combinations?
  • Which “cost components” are most commonly included in these studies?

According to the study, multimorbidity causes a large financial burden for both the health care system and society. The results suggest that the average costs per year were highest for patients with both cancer and mental health disorders. The co-occurrence of diabetes and vascular diseases also consumes a substantial amount of healthcare resources. According to the results of the article, the co-occurrence of diseases can also generate healthcare costs that are higher than the sum of the costs of the individual diseases.

Studies on the costs of multimorbidity typically consider only a limited number of disease combinations and little research has been done in either low- and middle-income countries or in Europe. In the future, accurate and standardised methods for data collection and cost calculation in respect of multimorbidity should be further developed in order to obtain more comprehensive and comparable evidence of its actual costs.

The research has been financed by the BOF-DOCPRO grant of the University of Antwerp.

Read the article

Phuong, B. T., Kazibwe, J., Nikolaidis, G. F., Linnosmaa, I., Rijken, M. & van Olmen, J. (2022). Costs of multimorbidity: a systematic review and meta-analyses. BMC Medicine.

The authors of the article, Ismo Linnosmaa and Mieke Rijken, work in the SustAgeable project’s Social and healthcare expenditure work package which examines, among other things, the effects of population ageing on social and healthcare expenditure regionally and at the national level in Finland.

More information

Work package leader, Deputy manager of the consortium, professor