Costs of Treating Pneumonia Will More Than Double By 2025 – Conference Board of Canada

Ottawa, April 10, 2017—Due to rising health care costs and an aging population, the number of hospitalized cases and the total cost of treating pneumonia is expected to rise dramatically by 2025, according to a new Conference Board of Canada report.

The Economic Burden of Pneumonia in Canada: A Status Quo Forecast estimates the total number of pneumonia cases requiring hospitalization will nearly double to 49,424 in 2025, up from 24,761 in 2010. Meanwhile, the annual total direct health care cost of treating the disease will reach over $530 million by 2025.

“As the Canadian population continues to grow and age, additional preventative measures, such as vaccines, would provide value by reducing the number of cases over time and improve how disease is managed in hospitals as well as in the community,” said Louis Thériault, Vice-President, Industry Strategy and Public Policy, The Conference Board of Canada.

  • The total direct health care cost of pneumonia is expected to increase from $216.2 million in 2010 to $532.2 million in 2025.
  • Key cost drivers: rising health care costs, an aging population, and increasing incidences of pneumonia.
  • Incidence rates are forecast to rise nearly 20 per cent among those aged 75 and older over the forecast period.

The largest cost driver for treating pneumonia is the need for hospitalization and the potential complications or illness following hospital discharge. While the average cost per case of pneumonia is forecast to increase for all age groups examined, the highest cost is found among those aged 65 to 69 and is expected to reach $12,619 by 2025. Overall, the total direct health care cost of pneumonia will increase from $216.2 million in 2010 to $532.2 million in 2025.

Age heightens an individual’s risk of contracting pneumonia. With the number of Canadians over age 65 set to sharply increase, population growth and demographics alone will be responsible for 58 per cent of the overall cost increase by 2025. The incidence rates of the disease are expected to rise most significantly among those aged 75 and older—at nearly 20 per cent over the forecast period.

To ease the inevitable economic burden the increasing number of cases will create, public health policies have included recommendations to vaccinate children, seniors, and other vulnerable and high-risk populations against common causes of pneumonia.

The research for this briefing was co-sponsored by The Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care and Pfizer Canada.

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