February 23, 2022

Multicenter, Cross-Sectional Study of the Costs of Illness and Cost-Driving Factors in Adult Patients with Epilepsy in Germany

Abstract published in Wiley Online Library

Objective: This study was undertaken to quantify epilepsy-related costs of illness (COI) in Germany and identify cost-driving factors.

Methods: COI were calculated among adults with epilepsy of different etiologies and severities. Multiple regression analysis was applied to determine any epilepsy-related and sociodemographic factors that serve as cost-driving factors.

Results: In total, 486 patients were included, with a mean age of 40.5 ± 15.5 years (range = 18–83 years, 58.2% women). Mean 3-month COI were estimated at €4911, €2782, and €2598 for focal, genetic generalized, and unclassified epilepsy, respectively. The mean COI for patients with drug-refractory epilepsy (DRE; €7850) were higher than those for patients with non-DRE (€4720), patients with occasional seizures (€3596), or patients with seizures in remission for >1 year (€2409). Identified cost-driving factors for total COI included relevant disability (unstandardized regression coefficient b = €2218), poorer education (b = €2114), living alone (b = €2612), DRE (b = €1831), and frequent seizures (b = €2385). Younger age groups of 18–24 years (b = ?€2945) and 25–34 years (b = ?€1418) were found to have lower overall expenditures. A relevant disability (b = €441), DRE (b = €1253), frequent seizures (b = €735), and the need for specialized daycare (b = €749) were associated with higher direct COI, and poorer education (b = €1969), living alone (b = €2612), the presence of a relevant disability (b = €1809), DRE (b = €1831), and frequent seizures (b = €2385) were associated with higher indirect COI.

Significance: This analysis provides up-to-date cost of illness data for use in further health economics analyses, highlighting the high economic impacts associated with disease severity, disability, and disease-related loss of productivity among adult patients with epilepsy. The identified cost drivers could be used as therapeutic and socioeconomic targets for future cost-containment strategies.