Epilepsy in Sweden: health care costs and loss of productivity-a register-based approach.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective was to estimate health care costs and productivity losses due to epilepsy in Sweden and to compare these estimates to previously published estimates.

Register data on health care utilisation, pharmaceutical sales, permanent disability and mortality were used to calculate health care costs and costs that accrue due to productivity losses. By linkage of register information, we were able to distinguish pharmaceuticals prescribed against epilepsy from prescriptions that were prompted by other indications.

The estimated total cost of epilepsy in Sweden in 2009 was <euro>441 million, which corresponds to an annual per-patient cost of <euro>8,275. Health care accounted for about 16% of the estimated total cost, and drug costs accounted for about 7% of the total cost. The estimated health care cost corresponded to about 0.2% of the total health care cost in Sweden in 2009. Indirect costs were estimated at <euro>370 million, 84% of which was due to sickness absenteeism. Costs resulting from epilepsy-attributable premature deaths or permanent disability to work accounted for about 1% of the total indirect cost in Sweden in 2009.

The per-patient cost of epilepsy is substantial. Thus, even though the prevalence of the illness is relatively small, the aggregated cost that epilepsy incurs on society is significant.


External organisations
  • Lund University
  • UCB BioPharma SPRL
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-826
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number6
Early online date2011 Nov 1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch