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TitleThe economic costs of alcohol misuse in Portugal
Author(s)Lima, Elvira
Esquerdo, Teresa
Burden of disease
Issue dateOct-2003
PublisherUniversidade do Minho. Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA)
CitationLIMA, Elvira, ESQUERDO, Teresa - The economic costs of alcohol misuse in Portugal [Em linha]. Braga : UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO. Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada, 2003. [Consult. 7 Jun. 2005]. Disponível em
Series/Report no.Working Papers NIMA
Abstract(s)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 health discharges 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.
TypeWorking paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:NIMA - Documentos de Trabalho/Working Papers

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