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      The annual direct costs of stable COPD in Greece

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) places a major burden on health care systems and has substantial economic effects; however, the cost of stable disease in Greece has never been thoroughly explored. The objective of the study was to estimate the annual COPD patient cost during the maintenance phase and explore the relationships between the cost and disease severity.


          Data were collected from 245 COPD patients (male: 231, mean age: 69.5±8.8 years) who visited the outpatient unit of University Hospital of Larissa in 2014 and 2015. Patients were classified according to Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines, and the patients’ direct cost during the maintenance phase was calculated.


          Eleven percent of COPD patients were stage I, 48.2% were stage II, 29% were stage III, and 11.8% were stage IV. According to the GOLD groups, 23.3% of patients were grade A, 15.5% were grade B, 22.9% were grade C, and 38.4% were grade D. The mean annual direct cost for stable disease was estimated at €1,034.55 per patient, of which €222.94 corresponded to out-of-pocket payments. The annual cost ranged from €408.23 to €2,041.89 depending on GOLD stages (I–IV) and from €550.01 to €1,480.00 depending on GOLD groups (A–D). The key cost driver was pharmaceutical treatment, which reflected almost 71% of the total expenses for the management of stable disease. The mean annual per-patient cost was two to three times higher for those with advanced disease (stages III–IV) compared to those with stages I–II disease, and it doubled for “high-risk” patients (groups C–D) compared to “low-risk” patients (groups A–B).


          The cost of COPD during the maintenance phase is remarkable, with the key cost driver found to be pharmaceutical treatment and social insurance funds the key payer for treating COPD patients in Greece. The cost of stable disease is proportional to the severity of COPD, and it is doubled in patients who belong to high-risk groups.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Economic Burden of COPD in the Presence of Comorbidities

          BACKGROUND: The morbidity and mortality associated with COPD exacts a considerable economic burden. Comorbidities in COPD are associated with poor health outcomes and increased costs. Our objective was to assess the impact of comorbidities on COPD-associated costs in a large administrative claims dataset. METHODS: This was a retrospective observational study of data from the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and the MarketScan Medicare Supplemental Databases from January 1, 2009, to September 30, 2012. Resource consumption was measured from the index date (date of first occurrence of non-rule-out COPD diagnosis) to 360 days after the index date. Resource use (all-cause and disease-specific [ie, COPD- or asthma-related] ED visits, hospitalizations, office visits, other outpatient visits, and total length of hospital stay) and health-care costs (all-cause and disease-specific costs for ED visits, hospitalizations, office visits, and other outpatient visits and medical, prescription, and total health-care costs) were assessed. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the impact of comorbidities on total health-care costs, adjusting for age, sex, geographic location, baseline health-care use, employment status, and index COPD medication. RESULTS: Among 183,681 patients with COPD, the most common comorbidities were cardiovascular disease (34.8%), diabetes (22.8%), asthma (14.7%), and anemia (14.2%). Most patients (52.8%) had one or two comorbidities of interest. The average all-cause total health-care costs from the index date to 360 days after the index date were highest for patients with chronic kidney disease ($41,288) and anemia ($38,870). The impact on total health-care costs was greatest for anemia ($10,762 more, on average, than a patient with COPD without anemia). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis demonstrated that high resource use and costs were associated with COPD and multiple comorbidities.
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            Prevalence of COPD in Greece.

            The prevalence of COPD in Greece is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and trends of COPD among adults in Greece. This study involved 888 randomly identified adults (475 men and 413 women) aged > 35 years, and smokers of at least 100 cigarettes, in a population-based, multiregional, cross-sectional descriptive design. The selected individuals reflected the urban/rural population distribution in Greece and, within each study region, the age group and gender of the community setting. The diagnosis of COPD was based on clinical and spirometric data including reversibility test (DeltaFEV(1) 35 years with a smoking history of > 100 cigarettes per lifetime was 8.4%. The gender-standardized COPD prevalence was 11.6% for men and 4.8% for women. The COPD prevalence by community setting was as follows: Athens, 6%; other urban areas, 10.1%; semiurban areas, 8.5%; and rural areas, 9.1%. Smoking intensity and age were significantly associated with higher COPD prevalence in both men and women. COPD is a substantial health problem in Greece, although prevalence rates are lower than expected when the high smoking rates are taken into account. The high proportion of the patients with mild COPD who were unaware of their illness highlights the need to increase public awareness of COPD.
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              Health economic costs of COPD in Sweden by disease severity--has it changed during a ten years period?

              The objectives of the presented study were to estimate societal costs of COPD in Sweden, the relationship between costs and disease severity, and possible changes in the costs during the last decade.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                15 January 2018
                : 13
                : 309-315
                [1 ]Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Thessaly School of Medicine, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa
                [2 ]School of Social Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Corinth
                [3 ]Department of Economics, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Eirini Stafyla, Respiratory Medicine Department, University Hospital of Larissa, Mezourlo (Biopolis), 41110 Larissa, Greece, Tel +30 241 350 2896, Fax +30 241 350 1563, Email eirinistaf@
                © 2018 Stafyla et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                greece, stable copd, gold groups, gold stages, annual cost, direct cost


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