Journal of Neurology

, Volume 258, Issue 8, pp 1497–1506 | Cite as

The health-related, social, and economic consequences of parkinsonism: a controlled national study

  • Poul JennumEmail author
  • Marielle Zoetmulder
  • Lise Korbo
  • Jakob Kjellberg
Original Communication


Parkinson’s disease (PD) and atypical parkinsonism (AP) cause a significant socioeconomic burden, but there is insufficient information about the total disease burden at a national level. Thus, the goal of this study was to estimate the excess direct and indirect costs of PD and AP in a national sample. Using records from the Danish National Patient Registry (1997–2007), 13,400 PD and 647 AP patients were identified and compared with, respectively, 53,600 and 2,588 control cases randomly selected with respect to age, gender, civil status, and geographic location. Direct costs including frequencies of primary and sector contacts and procedures, and medication from primary and secondary sectors were obtained from the Danish Ministry of Health, the Danish Medicines Agency, and the National Health Security. Indirect costs, which included labor supply and social transfer payments, were based on income data derived from the Coherent Social Statistics. Patients with PD and AP had significantly higher rates of health-related contact and medication use and a higher socioeconomic cost. Furthermore, they had very low employment rates, and those in employment had a lower income level than employed control subjects. The annual mean excess health-related cost was €6,500 ($8,975/£5,543) and €9,771 ($13,491/£8,332) for each patient with PD and AP, respectively. In addition, the patients with PD and AP received an annual mean excess social transfer income of €324 (£276/$447) and €844 (£719/$1,165), respectively. The employment- and health-related consequences could be identified up to 8 years before the first diagnosis and increased with disease advancement. PD and AP have major socioeconomic consequences for patients and society. The health effects are present for up to more than 8 years before a diagnosis of PD/AP.


Parkinson’s disease Illness costs Health costs Economic burden Employment 



The study was supported by a grant from the National Health Board.

Conflict of interests

There are no conflicts of interests among the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Poul Jennum
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marielle Zoetmulder
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lise Korbo
    • 2
  • Jakob Kjellberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Danish Center for Sleep Medicine, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Center for Healthy Aging, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Copenhagen, Glostrup HospitalGlostrupDenmark
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyBispebjerg HospitalNV CopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Danish Institute for Health Services ResearchCopenhagenDenmark

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