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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2018

Indirect costs and public finance consequences of heart failure in Poland, 2012–2015

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Błażej Łyszczarz



As a consequence of unfavourable epidemiological trends and the development of disease management, the economic aspects of heart failure (HF) have become more and more important. The costs of treatment (direct costs) appear to be the most frequently addressed topic in the economic research on HF; however, less is known about productivity losses (indirect costs) and the public finance burden attributable to the disease. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the indirect costs and public finance consequences of HF in Poland in the period 2012–2015.


The study uses a societal perspective and a prevalence-based top-down approach to estimate the following components of HF indirect costs: absenteeism of the sick and their caregivers, presenteeism of the sick, disability, and premature mortality. The human capital method has been chosen to identify the value of productivity losses attributable to HF and the public finance consequences of the disease. Deterministic sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the robustness of the results.


The total indirect costs of HF in Poland were €871.9 million in 2012, and they increased to €945.3 million in 2015. In the period investigated, these costs accounted for 0.212–0.224% of GDP, an equivalent of 22.63€–24.59€ per capita. Mortality proved to be the main driver of productivity losses, with 59.3–63.4% of the total costs depending on year, followed by presenteeism (21.1–22.5%), disability (11.1–14.2%) and the sick’s absenteeism (3.3–4.0%). The cost of caregivers’ absenteeism was unimportant. The social insurance expenditure for benefits associated with HF accounted for €40.7 million in 2012 and €45.6 million in 2015 (0.56–0.59% expenditure for all diseases). The potential public revenue losses associated with HF were €262.7–€287.9 million. Sensitivity analysis showed that the costs varied by − 12.1% to + 28.8% depending on the model parameter values.


HF is a substantial burden on the economy and public finance in Poland. By confronting the disease more effectively, the length and quality of life for those affected by HF could be improved, but society as a whole could also benefit from the increased economic output.
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