Knowledge about the costs for different types of injuries is crucial when estimating the benefits of a proposed injury prevention intervention. This study aims at estimating the societal costs for different injuries in Sweden.
Method: Medical costs for ICD-10 codes S00-S99, as well as the number of injured individuals for which the incidence was estimated, were collected from Östergötland County Council´s Cost Per Patient Database for the years 2009-2012. Productivity losses were estimated by using Swedish diagnosis-specific sick leave data from 2009 combined with labour costs. Total costs per injury were estimated for ten different injury groups relating to injured body part.
Results: The total average societal cost per injury for diagnoses S00-S99 was estimated at approximately € 2,726 for an estimated number of 708,105 injuries in Sweden 2009. Direct medical costs amount to approximately 43% of the total costs. There were however great differences between injuries: for instance, the lowest cost per injury was estimated at around € 892 and the highest at € 15,537 for the diagnostic groups Injuries to the ankle and foot, and Injuries to the neck, respectively. Great variation was also seen in the share of medical costs: it varied between 10% and 84% between injury groups.
Conclusions: This study shows that the studied injuries are associated with considerable costs to society. There are also variations in costs between injuries and this information is valuable when estimating the benefits of interventions targeting different injuries. By combining cost and effectiveness data cost effectiveness can be estimated for different interventions. This is pivotal information when deciding which interventions to implement; that is, the ones that provide best value for money.