Estimating the Economic Burden of Lung Cancer in Iran


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


Objectives: Lung cancer is a major public health problem and one of the most costly illnesses. The study aimed to estimate the economic burden of lung cancer in Iran in 2014. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the direct and indirect costs for patients with lung cancer using a prevalence-based approach. A human capital approach was employed to estimate the indirect costs. Data were obtained from several sources such as through patient interview using structured questionnaire, medical records, the GLOBOCAN databases, the Iranian Statistical Center, the Iranian Ministry of Cooperation, Labor and Social Welfare, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Results: The economic burden of lung cancer in Iran in the year 2014 was 3,225,998,555,090 IR. The main components of the cost were associated with mortality (81.9 %) and hospitalization (7.6 %). The costs of direct medical care, non-medical aspects, patient time, and mortality accounted for 10.8%, 2.7%, 4.5%, and 81.5% of the total cost, respectively. Conclusion: Findings from this study indicated that the economic burden of lung cancer is substantial both to Iran’s health system and to society as a whole. Early diagnosis, strengthening cancer prevention, implementing new cancer therapy and medical technology, and effective smoking-cessation interventions could offset some of the costs associated with lung cancer in Iran.