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The increase in health care costs associated with muscle weakness in older people without long-term illnesses in the Czech Republic: results from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

Authors Steffl M, Sima J, Shiells K, Holmerova I

Received 5 September 2017

Accepted for publication 3 November 2017

Published 27 November 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2003—2007

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S150826

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Michal Steffl,1 Jan Sima,2 Kate Shiells,3 Iva Holmerova3

1Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; 2Department of Sport Management, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; 3Centre of Expertise in Longevity and Long-term Care, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Abstract: Muscle weakness and associated diseases are likely to place a considerable economic burden on government health care expenditure. Therefore, our aim for this study was to estimate the direct and indirect costs associated with muscle weakness in the Czech Republic. We applied a cost-of-illness approach using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Six hundred and eighty-nine participants aged 70 years and over and without any long-term illnesses were included in our study. A generalized linear model with gamma distribution was used, and odds ratio (OR) was calculated in order to explore the effect of muscle weakness on direct and indirect costs. For both genders, muscle weakness had a statistically significant impact on direct costs (OR =2.11), but did not have a statistically significant impact on indirect costs (OR =1.08) or on total cost (OR =1.51). Muscle weakness had the greatest statistically significant impact on direct costs in females (OR =2.75). In conclusion, our study has shown that muscle weakness may lead to increased direct costs, and consequently place a burden on health care expenditure. Therefore, the results of this study could lead to greater interest in the prevention of muscle weakness among older people in the Czech Republic.

Keywords: direct cost, indirect cost, economic burden, sarcopenia, frailty

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