Study objectives: To determine the economic cost of sleep disorders in Australia and relate these to likely costs in similar economies.
Design and setting: Analysis of direct and indirect costs for 2004 of sleep disorders and the fractions of other health impacts attributable to sleep disorders, using data derived from national databases (including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Measurements: Direct health costs of sleep disorders (principally, obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, and periodic limb movement disorder) and of associated conditions; indirect financial costs of associated work-related accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and other productivity losses; and nonfinancial costs of burden of disease. These were expressed in US dollars (dollar).
Results: The overall cost of sleep disorders in Australia in 2004 (population: 20.1 million) was dollar 7494 million. This comprised direct health costs of dollar 146 million for sleep disorders and dollar 313 million for associated conditions, dollar 1956 million for work-related injuries associated with sleep disorders (net of health costs), dollar 808 million for private motor vehicle accidents (net of health costs), dollar 1201 million for other productivity losses, dollar 100 million for the real costs associated with raising alternative taxation revenue, and dollar 2970 million for the net cost of suffering.
Conclusions: The direct and indirect costs of sleep disorders are high. The total financial costs (independent of the cost of suffering) of dollar 4524 million represents 0.8% of Australian gross domestic product. The cost of suffering of dollar 2970 million is 1.4% of the total burden of disease in Australia.