Estimating the Economic Burden of Premature Mortality Caused by Cancer in Iran: 2006-2010


Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran


Background: Cancer is currently one of the main public health problems all over the world and its economic burden is substantial both for health systems and for society as a whole.To inform priorities for cancer control, we here estimated years of potential life lost (YPLL) and productivity losses due to cancer-related premature mortality in Iran from 2006 to 2010. Materials and Methods: The number of cancer deaths by sex and age groups for top ten leading cancers in Iran were obtained from the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. To estimate theYPLL and the cost of productivity loss due to cancer-related premature mortality, the life expectancy method and the human capital approach were used, respectively. Results: There were 138,228 cancer-related deaths in Iran (without Tehran province) of which 76 % (106,954) were attributable to the top 10 ranked cancers. Some 63 % of total cancer-related deaths were of males. The top 10 ranked cancers resulted in 106,766,942 YPLL in total, 64,171,529 (60 %) in males and 42,595,412 (40%) in females. The estimated YPPLL due to top 10 ranked cancers was 58,581,737 during the period studied of which 32,214,524 (54%) was accounted for in males.The total cost of lost productivity caused by premature deaths because of top 10 cancers was 1.68 billion dollars (US$) from 2006 to 2010, ranging from 251 million dollars in 2006 to 283 million dollars in 2010. Conclusions: This study showed that the economic burden of premature mortality attributable to cancer is significant for Iranian society. The findings provide useful information about the economic impact of cancer for health system policy/ decision makers and should facilitate planning of preventive intervention and effective resource allocation.