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The economic costs of alcohol misuse in Portugal

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Abstract

Aim: This study estimates the total economic burden of alcohol misuse in Portugal. Specifically, it reports estimates of morbidity and co-morbidity treatment costs and assesses the value of lost productivity related to alcohol misuse, for the year 1995. Methods and Sources: The study examines health care costs focusing on the nine most frequent diseases associated with alcohol misuse. The societal perspective was adopted and the prevalence-based Cost-of-Illness studies used to evaluate annual costs. The study is based on data obtained from different appropriate sources. Medical records from 88 public short-stay hospitals, provided by the Financing Management Institute in the Portuguese Ministry of Health. Hospital discharges, death causes and consultations obtained from Health Statistics and Mortality Statistics, published by the National Statistical Institute. And data on crime and motor vehicle crashes reported in the Sixth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends (UNICRI) and in the General State Account, published by the Ministry of Finance. Results : Approximately 19 878 discharges from alcohol misuse, representing 2.3% of total discharges, were estimated to occur in public short-stay hospitals. In public and private psychiatric hospitals 2 613 alcoholic discharges were estimated (18% of total mental healthdischarges in that year). The annual costs of health care services amounted to €33 million. Of this, 63% was due to inpatient care and 24% to ambulatory care. The criminal justice system and prison administration were estimated to cost €19 million whilst property damages due to motor vehicle crashes amounted to €57 million. Indirect costs were estimated to be €325 million. Of this, €76 million was due to the human cost of premature mortality. Conclusions : It is concluded that, in 1995, alcohol misuse imposed a burden of €434 million on the Portuguese economy, representing 0.6 % of Gross Domestic Product and a per capita cost estimate of €52. In examining the share of each component in total costs, both criminal justice and hospital care systems appear to have similar burdens, imposed by alcohol misuse. However, the greatest burden arises from losses in productivity resulting from illness and premature death.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho in its series NIMA Working Papers with number 24.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nim:nimawp:24

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Postal: NIMA, EEG - Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Phone: +351 253601930
Fax: +351 253601380
Web page: http://nima.eeg.uminho.pt/

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Postal: NIMA, EEG - Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Keywords: alcohol; cost; burden of disease;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Eric Crampton & Matt Burgess & Brad Taylor, 2011. "The Cost of Cost Studies," Working Papers in Economics 11/29, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.

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