Chronic disease is a significant global health challenge, with COPD being especially burdensome to patients and healthcare systems. Currently, COPD affects an estimated 480 million people worldwide1 and is the third leading cause of death.2 In the U.S., COPD accounts for 1.5 million emergency department visits annually,3 and patients with COPD incur up to $6,246 more per year in direct medical costs than other patients.4 Unfortunately, the burden of COPD is only expected to increase.
Propeller Health and ResMed presented several abstracts at the 2023 European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress, many of which forecasted the future economic and health burden of COPD. Read brief summaries of the abstracts below.
The economic and health burden of COPD in Western Europe: forecasting through 2050
Summary: While cigarette smoking remains a major risk factor for COPD, household and outdoor air pollution also contribute to the increasing burden of COPD in the coming years. To better understand how to address these issues, researchers forecasted the economic and health burden of COPD in Western Europe through 2050. Using data from 12 countries, the study developed a Markov model to project COPD dynamics and costs, considering factors like age, sex, smoking status, and pollution exposure. The research shows COPD is projected to accumulate $2.3 trillion in cumulative direct costs, $2.9 trillion in cumulative indirect costs, and $4,258 per patient per year in Western Europe by 2050. The findings emphasize the significant role of population growth, smoking, and various types of pollution in exacerbating COPD’s impact and financial costs in the region and exemplify the need for targeted public health strategies to address and mitigate the future burden of COPD.
The economic and health burden of COPD in the Middle East: forecasting through 2050
Summary: The Middle East is experiencing an increasing prevalence of COPD due to air pollution, population growth, and current smoking trends, despite historically low smoking rates. Using a mathematical model and data from seven countries, researchers sought to project the future burden of COPD in the Middle East through 2050. Researchers developed an open cohort Markov model to project COPD dynamics, costs, exacerbation frequencies, and impacts on different subgroups based on age, sex, and smoking status. The study projects COPD will cost the Middle East $134 billion in cumulative direct costs, $23 billion in cumulative indirect costs, and $1,629 per patient per year by 2050. The study highlights the substantial clinical and financial burden COPD will have in the Middle East and how public health efforts and advocacy will be critical in mitigating the impending challenges posed by the disease.
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1 Boers et al, (2022). An estimate of the global COPD prevalence in 2050: Disparities by income and gender. European Respiratory Journal 2022 60: 4608.
2 World Health Organization. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
3 Tsai et al, (2007). Factors Associated with Frequency of Emergency Department Visits for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22(6), 799–804.
4 WebMD, (2023). Costs related to COPD medical care.