The economic burden of malignant and premalignant hematological diseases in Southern Nigeria
Background: Hematological malignancies are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. They constitute an economic burden for the patients, their relatives, and the society because of the cost associated with their management, which is usually long term. We aimed to determine the total direct cost of managing patients with premalignant hematological disorders (PMHDs) and malignant hematological disorders (MHDs).
Materials and Methods: A hospital‑based retrospective study was carried out between 1997 and 2015. Data were retrieved from the case notes of adult patients diagnosed with either PMHD or MHD. The total cost of medical care was calculated as the sum of in‑patient and out‑patient direct cost associated with their management. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
Results: There was a total of 129 patients; 74 (57.4%) males and 55 (42.6%) females with mean age of 45.7 ± 16.3 years and the majority (n = 76, 58.9%) being employed. Males were more affected than the females except in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. The commonest MHD was chronic myeloid leukemia with 37 (28.7%) patients. Full blood count was the commonest investigation done, whereas free light chains were the least (n = 2; 1.6%). The total cost of care for the 129 patients was N30,041,900.00 ($82,306.58) with an average total cost of care per patient of N232,882.95 ($638.04). Patients with non‑Hodgkin lymphoma had the highest mean cost of care per patient (N373,196.30; $1,022.46). The average monthly expenditure per patient was about N70,000 ($190).
Conclusion: In our setting, management of CHDs constitutes an economic burden.
Keywords: Cost of care, economic burden, hematological malignancies