Background: Injuries are a major cause of total health care costs. Cost estimations may help identify injuries and high risk-groups to be considered for potential intervention. Methods: Hospital discharge registers of 10 European countries were used to estimate injury incidence. Consensus was reached between the participating countries about methodology, definition, classification, cost measurements, and valuation to maximize crossnational comparability of outcomes. The data of the countries were also used to give an estimate of the costs per capita by age, sex, type of injury, and external cause in Europe. Results: Large international differences were observed in injury incidence and associated costs related to hospital admissions, with relatively high costs per capita for Austria, followed by Denmark and Norway. In Greece, Italy, Ireland, and Wales, intermediate costs per capita were found, but these costs were relatively low for Spain, England, and the Netherlands. The patterns of costs by age, sex, injury type, and external cause are quite similar between the countries. For all countries, costs per capita increase exponentially in older age groups (age ≥65 years), due to the combined effect of high incidence and high costs per patient. The elderly females account for almost triple costs compared with same age males. Young children and male adolescents are also high-cost groups. Highest costs were found for hip fractures, fractures of the knee/lower leg, superficial injuries, skull-brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Home and leisure injuries (including sport injuries) and occupational injuries combined make a major contribution (86%) to the hospital costs of injury. Conclusion: Elderly patients aged 65 years and older, especially women, consume a disproportionate share of hospital resources for trauma care, mainly caused by hip fractures and fractures of the knee/lower leg, which indicates the importance of prevention and investing in trauma care for this specific patient group. Copyright

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Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Polinder, S, Meerding, W.J, van Baar, M.E, Toet, H, Mulder, S, van Beeck, E.F, … Wiik, J. (2005). Cost estimation of injury-related hospital admissions in 10 European countries. Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care, 59(6), 1283–1290. doi:10.1097/01.ta.0000195998.11304.5b