COPD in the working age population: The economic impact on both patients and government

J. F. M. Van Boven*, S. Vegter, T. Van Der Molen, M. J. Postma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To explore the full economic impact, on both patients and government, as a result of COPD in the working age population. Methods: The economic impact of COPD due to medical treatment, impaired productivity and early retirement was assessed in a cross sectional cost analysis of the Dutch COPD population aged 45-64 years. The costing year was 2009 and input parameters were derived from both national data sources and the international COPD uncovered survey. Results: While direct medical costs for COPD patients of working age were relatively low (€91 million), the amount of lost productivity (income) due to early retirement (€223 million) exceeded over two times their medical costs. In addition, costs for the government were considerable because of lost tax revenues (€77 million) and COPD related disability pensions paid (€180 million). Apart from lost productivity due to early retirement, costs due to impaired productivity for working COPD patients were €63 million. Conclusions: The costs of COPD for both patients of working age as for the government were considerable, making this population a priority for prevention and intervention programs of healthcare providers, employers and government. © 2013 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1-Dec-2013


  • Disability
  • Health economics of COPD
  • Productivity
  • Retirement
  • Tax
  • adult
  • article
  • chronic obstructive lung disease
  • cost benefit analysis
  • hospital cost
  • human
  • pension
  • priority journal
  • productivity
  • retirement
  • tax

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