Economic Burden And Health-Related Quality Of Life Of Patients With Cystic Fibrosis In Bulgaria

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2015 Jan-Mar;57(1):56-64. doi: 10.1515/folmed-2015-0020.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the economic burden from a societal perspective and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) in Bulgaria.

Materials and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 33 patients with CF and 17 caregivers from Bulgaria. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, health resource utilisation, informal care, labor productivity losses and HRQOL were collected from questionnaires completed by patients or their caregivers. HRQOL was evaluated with the EuroQol 5-domain (EQ-5D-3L) questionnaire.

Results: Median annual costs of CF in Bulgaria were € 24 152 per patient in 2012 as a reference year. Median annual costs for children were found to be significantly higher than those for adults - € 31 945 vs. € 15 714 (p = 0.012). This outcome came from statistically significant differences in costs for main informal carer (p < 0.001) and costs for other informal carers (p = 0.022). As a single cost item, drugs had the biggest monetary impact. Median annual drug costs were € 13 059. Bulgarian CF patients showed low HRQOL results - 50 median VAS score and 0.592 median health utilities. A quarter of patients even rated their health state as worse than death.

Conclusion: CF patients from Eastern Europe remain a vulnerable population with risk factors for worse health outcomes. Our study provided a state-of-the art analysis that facilitates the elaboration, adoption and application of targeted public health policies to tackle CF-related problems at national and European level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bulgaria
  • Child
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / economics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / psychology*
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*