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Neurology. 2008 Jul 1;71(1):21-7. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000316393.54258.d1.

Economic cost of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the United States.

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Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, 1800 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-5831, USA.



This study estimated the annual economic cost of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the United States in 2004, including the direct costs of medical care and the indirect costs due to lost productivity and premature death.


The cost-of-illness method was used to determine the costs of medical care and lost productivity, and a modified value of a statistical life approach was used to determine the cost of premature deaths. Data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the Compressed Mortality File, a telephone survey of 180 adult patients with GBS, and other sources.


The estimated annual cost of GBS was $1.7 billion (95% CI, $1.6 to 1.9 billion), including $0.2 billion (14%) in direct medical costs and $1.5 billion (86%) in indirect costs. Most of the medical costs were for community hospital admissions. Most of the indirect costs were due to premature deaths. The mean cost per patient with GBS was $318,966 (95% CI, $278,378 to 359,554).


The economic cost of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) was substantial, and largely due to disability and death. The cost estimate summarizes the lifetime health burden due to GBS in monetary terms, and provides some of the information needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of health measures that affect GBS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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