Background: The spectrum of disorders of the brain is large, covering hundreds of disorders that are listed in either the mental or neurological disorder chapters of the established international diagnostic classification systems. These disorders have a high prevalence as well as short- and long-term impairments and disabilities. Therefore they are an emotional, financial and social burden to the patients, their families and their social network. I
In 2005, we presented for the first time overall estimates of annual costs for brain disorders (mental and neurologic disorders) in Europe. This new report presents updated, more accurate, and comprehensive 2010 estimates for 30 European countries.
One-year prevalence and annual cost per person of 19 major groups of disorders are based on 'best estimates' derived from systematic literature reviews by panels of experts in epidemiology and health economics. Our cost estimation model was populated with national statistics from Eurostat to adjust to 2010 values, converting all local currencies to Euros (€), imputing cost for countries where no data were available, and aggregating country estimates to purchasing power parity-adjusted estimates of the total cost of brain disorders in Europe in 2010.
Total European 2010 cost of brain disorders was €798 billion, of which direct health care cost 37%, direct non-medical cost 23%, and indirect cost 40%. Average cost per inhabitant was €5.550. The European average cost per person with a disorder of the brain ranged between €285 for headache and €30 000 for neuromuscular disorders. Total annual cost per disorder (in billion € 2010) was as follows: addiction 65.7; anxiety disorders 74.4; brain tumor 5.2; child/adolescent disorders 21.3; dementia 105.2; eating disorders 0.8; epilepsy 13.8; headache 43.5; mental retardation 43.3; mood disorders 113.4; multiple sclerosis 14.6; neuromuscular disorders 7.7; Parkinson's disease 13.9; personality disorders 27.3; psychotic disorders 93.9; sleep disorders 35.4; somatoform disorder 21.2; stroke 64.1; and traumatic brain injury 33.0.
Our cost model revealed that brain disorders overall are much more costly than previously estimated constituting a major health economic challenge for Europe. Our estimate should be regarded as conservative because many disorders or cost items could not be included because of lack of data.