Article Abstract

Annual cost of illness of stomach and esophageal cancer patients in urban and rural areas in China: A multi-center study

Authors: Zhixun Yang, Hongmei Zeng, Ruyi Xia, Qian Liu, Kexin Sun, Rongshou Zheng, Siwei Zhang, Changfa Xia, He Li, Shuzheng Liu, Zhiyi Zhang, Yuqin Liu, Guizhou Guo, Guohui Song, Yigong Zhu, Xianghong Wu, Bingbing Song, Xianzhen Liao, Yanfang Chen, Wenqiang Wei, Guihua Zhuang, Wanqing Chen


Objective: Stomach and esophageal cancer are imposing huge threats to the health of Chinese people whereas there were few studies on the financial burden of the two cancers.
Methods: Costs per hospitalization of all patients with stomach or esophageal cancer discharged between September 2015 and August 2016 in seven cities/counties in China were collected, together with their demographic information and clinical details. Former patients in the same hospitals were sampled to collect information on annual direct non-medical cost, indirect costs and annual number of hospitalization. Annual direct medical cost was obtained by multiplying cost per hospitalization by annual number of hospitalization. Annual cost of illness (ACI) was obtained by adding the average value of annual direct medical cost, direct non-medical cost and indirect cost, stratified by sex, age, clinical stage, therapy and pathologic type in urban and rural areas. Costs per hospitalization were itemized into eight parts to calculate the proportion of each part. All costs were converted to 2016 US dollars (1 USD=6.6423 RMB).
Results: Totally 19,986 cases were included, predominately male. Mean ages of stomach cancer and urban patients were lower than that of esophageal cancer and rural patients. ACI of stomach and esophageal cancer patients were $10,449 and $13,029 in urban areas, and $2,927 and $3,504 in rural areas, respectively. Greater ACI was associated with male, non-elderly patients as well as those who were in stage I and underwent surgeries. Western medicine fee took the largest proportion of cost per hospitalization.
Conclusions: The ACI of stomach and esophageal cancer was tremendous and varied substantially among the population in China. Preferential policies of medical insurance should be designed to tackle with this burden and further reduce the health care inequalities.

Keywords: Cost of illness; stomach neoplasms; esophageal neoplasms; China