Social/economic costs and health-related quality of life in patients with fragile X syndrome in Europe

Eur J Health Econ. 2016 Apr:17 Suppl 1:43-52. doi: 10.1007/s10198-016-0784-3. Epub 2016 Apr 12.


Objective: To estimate the social/economic costs of fragile X syndrome (FXS) in Europe and to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients and caregivers.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of European countries. Patients were recruited through patients' associations. Data on their resource use and absence from the labour market were retrospectively obtained from an online questionnaire. Costs were estimated by a bottom-up approach and the EuroQol-5 Domain (EQ-5D) questionnaire was used to measure patients' and caregivers' HRQOL.

Results: Five countries were included in the analysis. The mean annual cost of FXS per patient varied from €4951 in Hungary to €58,862 in Sweden. Direct non-healthcare costs represented the majority of costs in all countries but there were differences in the share incurred by formal and informal care among those costs. Costs were also shown to differ between children and adults. Mean EQ-5D utility score for adult patients varied from 0.52 in France (n = 42) to 0.73 in Hungary (n = 2), while for caregivers this score was consistently inferior to 0.87.

Conclusion: Our findings underline that, although its prevalence is low, FXS is costly from a societal perspective. They support the development of tailored policies to reduce the consequences of FXS on both patients and their relatives.

Keywords: Cost analysis; Economic burden; Fragile X syndrome; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Fragile X Syndrome / economics*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / psychology
  • Health Care Costs* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care / economics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Registries
  • Sick Leave / economics
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult