16 Aug The Social and Economic cost of Sleep Disorders in Australia
Streatfeild et al recently publish their findings in the Journal of Sleep. They investigated and modeled an estimate of the economic cost of common sleep disorders in Australia for the FY19-20. This builds on previous published work and submissions to parliament focusing on sleep disorders and inadequate sleep from other non-illness related causes in Australia.
Costs were estimated for 3 common sleep disorders; obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), insomnia, and restless legs syndrome (RLS). They found that the estimated overall cost of sleep disorders in Australia was $35.4 billion (OSA $13.1 billion; insomnia $13.3 billion, RLS $9.0 billion).
Of this $35.4 billion, the financial cost component was $10.0 billion and comprised of:
- health system costs $0.7 billion;
- productivity losses $7.7 billion;
- informal care $0.2 billion;
- other, mainly non-medical accident costs, $0.4 billion, and;
- deadweight losses $1.0 billion.
For moderate to severe cases of OSA syndrome, insomnia unrelated to other conditions and RLS, financial costs represented $16,717, $21,982, and $16,624 per adult with the condition for the year, respectively.
They concluded that the economic costs associated with sleep disorders are substantial with the financial component of these costs equivalent to 0.73% of Australian gross domestic product. The nonfinancial cost represented 3.2% of total Australian burden of disease for the year. Health system costs of these disorders are low relative to those associated with their consequences, suggesting greater expenditure on detection, treatment and prevention is warranted.
Jared Streatfeild, Jackson Smith, Darren Mansfield, Lynne Pezzullo, David Hillman, The Social And Economic Cost Of Sleep Disorders, Sleep, 2021;, zsab132, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab132