Excessive costs of COPD in ever-smokers. A longitudinal community study

Respir Med. 2011 Mar;105(3):485-93. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2010.08.009. Epub 2010 Oct 28.


Aim: We aimed to estimate the societal treatment-related costs of COPD in hospital- and population-based subjects with spirometry defined COPD, relative to a control group.

Methods: 81 COPD cases and 132 controls without COPD were randomly recruited from a general population, as were 205 COPD patients from a hospital register. All participants were ever-smokers of at least 40 years of age, followed for 12 months. Data on comorbid conditions and spirometry were collected at baseline. Standardized telephone interviews every third month gave information on use of healthcare services and exacerbations of respiratory symptoms.

Results: The increased (excessive) median annual costs per case having stage II, stage III and stage IV COPD were € (95% CI) 400 (105-695), 1918 (1268-2569) and 1870 (1031-2709), respectively, compared to the population-based controls. Costs increased with €81 (95% CI 50-112) per exacerbation of respiratory symptoms and €461 (95% CI 354-567) per comorbid condition. Excessive costs for hospital COPD patients were threefold that of the population-based COPD cases.

Conclusion: The excessive treatment-related cost of COPD stage II+ in ever-smokers of at least 40 years was estimated to €105 million for Norway. Comorbidity was a dominant predictor of excessive cost in COPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / economics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / physiopathology
  • Spirometry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires